2021: A lookback

YourStory takes a look at some of the milestones for Indian startups this year such as the first unicorn to launch an IPO, Freshworks going public in the US, and other events that stood out as big wins in 2021.
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Good Morning,

For the Indian startup ecosystem, 2021 was the year of unicorns, with 42 startups crossing the billion-dollar valuation mark, more than the cumulative number of 33 unicorns we had from 2011 to 2020. 

The number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) also rose — with 229 deals this year until November 14, as compared to 86 for the whole of 2020, found YourStory Research. This amounted to an M&A value of $10.3 billion, a sharp increase from the $1.3 billion in 2020.

This year has also been spectacular for initial public offerings (IPOs), with Rs 1.10 lakh crore ($14.88 billion) raised over 52 issues until end-November. Among these, a sizable number of Indian tech startups were also seen hitting the public market.

Starting with Zomato, the list includes top startup unicorns like CarDekho, PolicyBazaar, Nykaa, Paytm, MapmyIndia, and Freshworks (though listed on NASDAQ).

From Zomato becoming the first unicorn to go public to Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar becoming India's richest self-made woman, take a look at the top 10 milestones achieved by the Indian startup ecosystem in 2021.


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Editor’s Pick: IPO landscape of 2022

While 2021 was a busy year for the startup ecosystem with 42 startups turning unicorns this year, the stock exchanges also saw the likes of  Zomato, Nykaa, PolicyBazaar, Paytm, Freshworks, MapmyIndia, Cartrade, MedPlus, and RateGain getting listed.

With several highly anticipated IPOs hitting the stock market this year, we can look forward to a very active IPO market in 2022 as well. Read more.


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Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog

“Digitisation has provided an impetus to the startup ecosystem in India.”

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog


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