India’s 21st unicorn for 2021 - upGrad

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India just got its 21st unicorn for 2021 — higher education startup upGrad.
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India just got its 21st unicorn for 2021 — higher education startup upGrad.

The Mumbai-based startup is now valued at $1.2 billion after raising $185 million in a continuous round led by Temasek ($120 million), IFC ($40 million), and India Infoline Finance ($25 million).

upGrad is also the third homegrown edtech startup to turn unicorn after BYJU'S and Unacademy, and is the fourth startup to enter the coveted billion-dollar valuation club in the last 10 days after B2B commerce startup OfBusiness, fintech giant BharatPe, and sales enablement company Mindtickle.

Unicorns of 2021

2021 has been a sensational year for the Indian startup ecosystem, which has surpassed all projections — both in terms of the number of unicorns and the funding raised.

In July alone, the Indian startup ecosystem raised almost $10 billion (including a mega round of $3.6 billion raised by Flipkart), and added three new unicorns to its cap. This was almost equal to the total funding raised in the first six months of 2021, and more than the entire amount raised in 2020.

The year has also marked the rise of online education startups. Between January and August 3, edtech has been among the top three funded sectors in India, raising $1.9 billion across 80 deals, according to YourStory Research.

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

Consumer behaviour is one of the many aspects that has undergone a significant transformation since the onset of the pandemic.

Lenskart's Durgesh Dhalla, Matrimony.com's Saichitra Swaminathan, Caratlane's Gurukeerthi Gurunathan, and Google Cloud's Mitesh Agarwal discuss the key shifts in consumer behaviour, its impact on business, and the digital strategies that can be put into place to pre-empt these fluctuations in demand.


Editor’s Pick: What Nykaa’s IPO means for women entrepreneurs

Falguni Nayar launched Nykaa, the online beauty startup, in 2012. Today, as the omnichannel beauty retailer eyes the public markets, the banker-turned-entrepreneur is making history and raising the bar for women entrepreneurs. 

Nykaa will be the first woman-led startup heading for an IPO, is one of the few Indian women-founded startups to become a unicorn, and is one of the first profitable startups to be listed. Read more.

Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Nykaa with Nihir Parikh, Chief Business Officer (2nd row, 3rd from L-R)


Startup Spotlight

Helping mothers monitor family’s health

In 2019, entrepreneurs Amit Singal and Amit Vyas launched Gurugram-based Nexus Healthtech Pvt Ltd to revolutionise the healthcare system in India through technology and innovation.

The startup aims to provide personal attention and touch to the users with its product — Maatri, which is a digital health platform to help mothers track the health of their children along with other family members. Read more.


News & Updates


Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder and Chairman, UpGrad

“The valuation is at $1.2 billion, but as I keep saying, we are not a fan of the tag 'unicorn'. For us, it is only a means to a much larger goal.”

Ronnie Screwvala, Founder-Chairman, upGrad


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