A lookback at India’s year of startup unicorns

In 2021, a total of 42 Indian startups entered the unicorn club — more than 2X of the total number of unicorns that the ecosystem had until 2020.
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With 42 Indian startups crossing the billion-dollar valuation mark, the coveted unicorn club has more than doubled in size. YourStory Research reveals that India is now home to a total of 75 active unicorns with a cumulative valuation of more than $200.4 billion.

While the 42 unicorns of 2021 have raised nearly $17.2 billion over the years, they raised over $5.3 billion during 2021, across 31 funding transactions that involved a mix of 140 investors participating in various round-types.

These unicorns came in all shapes and sizes. Founded by Ananth Narayanan, the D2C house of brands Mensa Brands became the youngest Indian startup to enter the unicorn club within six months. Meanwhile, Chennai-based NBFC Five Star Finance, which was incorporated in 1984, took 37 years to enter the unicorn club this year.

The year also saw the first unicorn to emerge out of non-metro cities as Jaipur-based CarDekho raised $200 million in Series E equity and $50 million debt in its pre-IPO round to reach $1.2 billion in valuation.

Read more insights here. 


The Interview: Digitalising the next million brands of India

This panel discussion featuring Wakefit Director and Co-founder Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Director Omnichannel Solutions at Google India Bhaskar Ramesh, Smytten CEO Swagat Sarangi, SME and Startup Business head at Razorpay Vedanarayanan Vedantham, and hosted by Praveen Bhadada, Partner and Global Head-Digital at Zinnov, aims to focus on how the upcoming brands in India can be digitalised under the theme ‘How To Digitalise The Next Million Brands Of India’.


Editor’s Pick: 2022 outlook for femtech sector

Although healthcare has evolved, it has remained largely biased towards men, with most solutions and diagnoses designed for the ‘standard’ male body. A new crop of entrepreneurs is addressing these blindspots by leveraging technology infrastructure to cater to women’s health and wellness needs. 

With more and more entrepreneurs solving women's health and wellness problems, funding in the femtech sector is slowly increasing, with 2021 seeing the highest number of funding deals so far, pegged at 11. Read more.


Startup Spotlight

Helping founders raise capital without diluting equity

India’s startup ecosystem received billions of dollars in funding; however, young companies still struggle to raise capital. Entrepreneurial duo Abhinav Sherwal and Eklavya Gupta, through their fintech startup Recur Club, want to rewrite the rules of how founders can raise capital to run their businesses.

Founded in June this year, Delhi-based Recur Club is a subscription-based financing platform that enables companies with recurring revenues to raise capital in a much faster manner without diluting their equity. Read more.


Startup Spotlight

When tech meets agriculture

Mumbai-based Greensat Innovation labs is an agritech company that uses satellite imagery and AI (Artificial Intelligence)/ ML (Machine Learning) to assess farmlands and provide AI-driven insights to farmers about the state of their farmlands, and potential threats to it, such as pest issues or anything that could basically affect crop growth and production. Read more.


Before you go, stay inspired with… 

“People who take extreme risks tend to make the most progress in society. That’s because they are inherently unhappy about the status quo.”

Deepak Shenoy, Founder and CEO, Capitalmind


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