What investors expect from startups in 2021; YourStory deep-dive into unicorns of 2020

Investors believe for the best founders out there, COVID-19 is just another opportunity to stand apart. Amid COVID-19, 11 Indian startups became unicorns.
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According to YourStory Research, Indian startups raised a total disclosed funding of $8.4 billion between January 2020 and mid-November 2020 across 765 deals. This was a 30 percent decline compared to the funding in 2019. But, the overall investor sentiments remained positive. Investors YourStory spoke to believe that for the best founders out there, COVID-19 is just another opportunity to stand apart. In fact, they can’t wait to meet and invest in entrepreneurs who won the pandemic.

Since 2012, when Inmobi became India's first unicorn to today when the ecosystem has more than 35 unicorn startups, India's unicorn landscape has come a long way. The frequency at which Indian startups are entering this coveted club of billion-dollar valuation is noteworthy. As 2020 draws its curtains, here is a YourStory deep-dive into the 11 Indian startups that became unicorns in a pandemic-hit year and are poised to inspire a new generation of Indian entrepreneurs.

According to an impact report of COVID-19 on Indian startups, 12 percent of startups had to close down their operations while 70 percent of the startups reported they were impacted due to the coronavirus situation. Amid the pandemic, many entrepreneurs went beyond their business model to come up with innovations to help people stay safe. As we ready to step into the New Year, YourStory brings to you stories of five startups that pivoted from their initial business model to survive, sustain, and solve problems amid COVID-19.

Last but not least, India’s largest private-sector employer Bengaluru-based Quess Corp, which had 3.85 lakh employees and associates on its roster before the pandemic hit, believes the first thing to do in order to solve India’s employment problem is to move workers from the informal sector to the formal sector. Currently, Quess has around 3.30 lakh people on its rolls. 

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Quote of the day:

“When you bring more people from the informal sector to the formal sector, they get more predictability in their incomes, there are social security benefits, and then hopefully some skill development that will happen."

—  Ajit Isaac, Chairman and Managing Director, Quess Corp


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