14th Indian startup enters unicorn club in 2021

Founded in 2015, Zeta offers credit, debit and prepaid cards, loans and deposits, among other services, and wants to expand its footprint in the US, Europe, and India.
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Good morning!

It is the season of unicorns. Five months into 2021, India already has 14 new unicorns, surpassing this year’s expectations and projections.

Regional social media platform ShareChat, fintech startup CRED, social commerce startup Meesho, and e-pharmacy platform Pharmeasy, among others, entered the coveted billion-dollar valuation club this year.

And the latest is fintech startup Zeta. 

The banking tech startup — with offices across the US, Asia, UK, and West Asia — raised $250 million in a Series C round from Softbank Vision Fund 2 at a valuation of $1.45 billion

Founded in 2015 by Bhavin Turakhia and Ramki Gaddipati, the banking startup works with over 25 fintech firms and 10 banks, including HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, RBL Bank, and Axis Bank.

An earlier NASSCOM report had stated that India will have 50 unicorns before 2021 ends, but we have already surpassed that number. 

In fact, an October 2020 report by TiE-Delhi and research firm Zinnov predicted that India will have 100 unicorns by 2025, despite the impact of COVID-19. And, it looks like the startup ecosystem is well ahead in the game.

Read all about how the Indian startup ecosystem is battling the second wave of COVID-19 here.

Here are some useful tools to help you find the nearest vaccine centres in real-time.

You can also share a tribute to COVID-19 warriors, saviours, and survivors here.


The Interview

A startup with 2,000+ global corporates for clientele, Indusface provides a SaaS-based fully managed web application firewall and web app security scanner. It makes it extremely easy for businesses to detect security risks and shield their web applications and application API from being hacked.

Co-founders Ashish Tandon and Venkatesh Sundar join YourStory to share their journey of growth, deep-diving into how a bootstrapped startup can raise funds and drive sustainable growth.


Editor’s Pick: Product Roadmap

In 2015, Abhishek Kothari, Deepak Jain, Manish Lunia, and Ritesh Jain were shocked to realise that India had over 60 million small businesses, while more than 80 percent didn’t have any credit. This created a staggering $250 billion credit gap with a direct impact on the country’s GDP. 

The four — who had worked for decades across banking, telecom, and startups — decided to solve this problem and founded FlexiLoans at the end of the same year. The SME fintech aimed to provide fast and affordable credit to SMBs in India with a branchless, agent-less, paperless business model. Read more.


Startup Spotlight

A dental-tech startup bringing the dentist to your smartphone

Dental surgeon Dr Vidhi Bhanushali and her husband Rajat Kabade, while discussing oral hygiene among Indians, realised that they could leverage technology to detect dental diseases early and prevent their severity. 

The husband-wife duo — who always relied on technology to solve problems — started Pune-based DentalDost in 2018 as a blog. The duo has now expanded it into an AI-powered ‘dentist’ by leveraging AI and ML. Read more.


News & Updates

  • PharmEasy has acquired Medlife for an undisclosed amount, making it India's largest medicine delivery platform. Pharmeasy will absorb Medlife's existing customers, and the latter's retail partners will be onboarded onto PharmEasy's platform.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

“I would tell startups founders in India to build great companies without having to worry about building a unicorn.”

Anand Rajaraman, Founding Partner, Rocketship.vc


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