2021: the year of Indian unicorns

Against a cumulative number of 33 unicorns, from 2011 to 2020, the current year has seen the emergence of 41 startup unicorns, and we have a full month to go for 2021 to end.
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The Indian startup ecosystem is on fire, and for a reason worth cheering. On November 29, 2021, when fintech startup Slice turned unicorn, the total number of unicorns in the country touched 41.

At 41, in the first eleven months of the year, the number is over 124 percent higher than 33 active unicorns, which have joined the elite club between 2011 and 2020. And, we still have one full month left to bid adieu to 2021 - the year of Indian unicorns.

The current year is also unusual from the previous years when it comes to the evolution of the newer unicorns’ business-models.

The business-to-business (B2B) unicorns, which are 14 in number during 2021, are in a 34:66 proportion to the business-to-consumer (B2C) unicorns, which count up to 27 during 2021.

The sectoral-mix of the 41 unicorns of 2021 is also very interesting. So far, 9 fintech unicorns lead the year-to-date league table followed by 4 enterprisetech, 3 edtech, and 2 cryptocurrency unicorns.

Foodtech, healthtech, proptech, and social commerce have also added two representatives each to the coveted club.

The current year is also interesting for giving the oldest and youngest unicorns, as 1984-incorporated Five Star Business Finance joined the unicorn club in March this year at the age of 37 years.

On the other hand, Mensa Brands, founded by Ananth Narayanan turned unicorn in less than six months of its inception.

While the startup ecosystem is churning out more and more unicorns, 2021 has also been the year of initial public offerings (IPOs), with Zomato , Nykaa , PolicyBazaar, and Paytm getting listed.

At the same time, other unicorns like Delhivery, Droom, and MobiKwikhave spelt out their listing plans and filed their draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with capital market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Edited by Megha Reddy

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