From NASDAQ-listed Freshworks and BSE-listed Zomato, to India’s 1st D2C unicorn Licious: Here’s a list of the 20-odd unicorns taking the stage at TechSparks 2021

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YourStory’s TechSparks packs a punch this year with a stellar line up of 20+ unicorn founders discussing their journeys and sharing all sorts of insider secrets around gaining entry in the billion-dollar club. Here’s a quick run through of who you can expect to catch at TechSparks 2021 this year.

If the last decade has been India’s story of entrepreneurial eclecticism, 2021 would go down in the history books as the point the ecosystem hit a new high, or at least a crucial inflexion point. Over the last ten months, 32 startups crossed the billion-dollar valuation mark — an incredible feat considering VC firms cut smaller cheques last year and fretted over startups recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, recover they did, and how!

What has really driven this madrush to the unicorn club — disruptive business models and emerging technological shifts — isn’t anything new; it is merely that the world is waking up to the level of tech sophistication exhibited by the Indian startup ecosystem only now, and are sprinting to be part of the next biggest growth opportunity.

At TechSparks 2021, which is slated for October 25 to October 30, we’re going beyond conversations around what’s causing this traffic jam to the unicorn club, and unearthing how more of us can get there, charting the journey to the decacorn club next, and evaluating the ultimate level-up — the capital markets.

Returning for its 13th edition, TechSparks 2021 — India’s most influential startup-tech event — will feature founders from over 20 unicorns, old and new, including some who were once named in our very own Tech30 list, and others who tended to shy away from media spotlights.

Across 10+ curated sessions, we aim to dig into the psyche of unicorn founders like never before and lay bare all sorts of things that come with that billion-dollar tag — the weight of expectations it carries and what it means to empower people and gain their trust.

For starters, we have stalwarts of the ecosystem like Deepinder Goyal, CEO and Co-founder of Zomato, the first startup from India to list on the stock exchange, and Girish Mathrubootham, Founder and CEO of Freshworks, India’s first SaaS unicorn to list in the US (and make a stellar debut).

We also have Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Co-founders of Licious, India’s first D2C brand to join the unicorn club. On October 29, they’re going to take the stage at YourStory’s TechSparks event to talk about their experience building a food company that celebrates meat in India, becoming the first D2C unicorn in India, and what’s next for Licious.

If you’re hoping they add duck or turkey to their already extensive menu of offerings, you may or may not find your answers here. But what you will gain is a crash course in disrupting a legacy sector.

We also have Swiggy's Sriharsha Majety in what we believe is one of his rare public appearances, where he’ll chat with YourStory’s very own Shradha Sharma about building Swiggy, flavour by flavour, as well as delve into how, with the introduction of Swiggy cloud kitchens and Instamart, the food delivery leader is future-proofing itself and rewriting the playbook for the global foodtech ecosystem.

Ever the favourites of the edtech startup space, we have Byju Raveendran from BYJU'S, Vamsi Krishna from Vedantu, Gaurav Munjal from Unacademy, and Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson and Co-founder of upGrad talking to us about the future of edtech, and what the next level-up is going to look like.

Next, we have someone you could definitely eulogise for single-handedly helping bring millions of retail investors onto the trading floor — Nithin Kamath, Co-founder of Zerodha, who bootstrapped the startup to the unicorn club in 2020.

Nithin and his brother — Nikhil Kamath — have often abjured the “growth-at-any-cost” philosophy, and focused on building a sustainable business backed by a solid tech product. That strategy has helped them disrupt the Indian brokerage and investment-tech landscape in a big way.

At TechSparks, Nithin will talk to YourStory’s Shradha about pioneering discount broking in India, rising to the top while competing with larger, more prominent players, and staying nimble-footed throughout the journey of building Zerodha.

And if that hasn’t already had your fingers itching to quickly finish reading this story and log on to our TechSparks 2021 website to book your tickets, take a look at all the unicorn founders we’re hosting this year at TechSparks 2021:

  • Byju Raveendran, Co-founder and CEO, BYJU'S
  • Sriharsha Majety, Co-founder and CEO, Swiggy
  • Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Co-Founders, Licious
  • Girish Mathrubootham, Founder and CEO, Freshworks
  • Srinath Ramakkrushnan, Co-Founder, Zetwerk
  • Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato
  • Nithin Kamath, Co-founder and CEO, Zerodha
  • Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson and Co-founder, upGrad
  • Vasant Sridhar, Co-founder and CSO, Ofbusiness
  • Beerud Sheth, Co-founder and CEO, Gupshup
  • Ashwin Damera, CEO, Eruditus
  • Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Co-founder, Urban Company
  • Nirmit Parikh, Founder and CEO, Apna
  • Farid Ahsan, Co-founder and COO; Bhanu Pratap Singh, Co-founder and CRO, and Ankush Sachdeva, Co-founder and CEO, ShareChat
  • Vikram Chopra, CEO and Founder, Cars24
  • Kiran Katreddi, VP, Data Platform Engineering, Meesho
  • Rahul Garg, Founder and CEO, Moglix
  • Neeraj Khandelwal, Co-founder and CTO, CoinDCX
  • Vamsi Krishna, CEO and Co-founder, Vedantu
  • Harsh Jain, Founder and CEO, Dream11
  • Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart
  • Umang Bedi and Virendra Gupta, Co-founders, DailyHunt
  • Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO, Unacademy
  • Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-founder, Razorpay

And the countdown here to register.

With inputs from Sanhati Bannerjee

Edited by Anju Narayanan


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