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Here’s how 9Unicorns is setting global benchmarks for investments in startups - Closes 2021 with 101 deals

With over 30 up-rounds in 2021, 9Unicorns invested $32 million in 90 unique startups. They invested in a total of 101 deals. 9Unicorns plans to invest in about 200 startups in 2022.

Here’s how 9Unicorns is setting global benchmarks for investments in startups - Closes 2021 with 101 deals

Monday January 03, 2022 , 4 min Read

Every entrepreneur dreams of proper backing for their idea-stage startup and 9Unicorns, one of India’s leading accelerator funds, has registered new benchmarks in the world of early-stage investing in India. Backed by multiple billionaires and LPs, the $100 million fund has witnessed over 30 up-rounds in 2021.

Apart from that, global VCs, family offices, unicorn founders, and top CXOs co-invested in its portfolio, which have set it up to create several billion-dollar startups from its stable in the next few years. While the Mumbai-based accelerator fund is looking to invest around $500 thousand to $1 million in idea-stage startups, it has also charted a new and unique funding strategy where it would be investing in both idea-stage and Series C stage startups.

In 2021, 9Unicorns invested in startups by leading up-rounds of several innovative and disruptive startups. The highest round of investment went to Klub, India’s largest revenue finance firm, with a round size of $20 million, and investors like Alter Global, Sequoia Surge, and Better Capital.

Apart from Klub, the startups that 9Unicorns invested the most (in order) were Toch, Power Gummies, OTO Capital, MyFitness, Zypp, and Renee Cosmetics, all of whom availed an investment of more than $10 million. Apart from these early-stage startups, 9Unicorns also invested in 12 Series C startups that included the likes of Vedantu, Melorra, Shiprocket, FlowBiz, Reshamandi, Biddano, BluSmart, Lido Learning,, Farms, and GOQii.

As early-stage investments picked up pace in India in 2021, the fund witnessed a growth of more than three times in the number of deals it landed. Having invested in 32 deals in 2020, 9Unicorns invested in over 90-odd unique startups with a total round size of $465 million. On a standalone basis, 9Unicorns invested a total amount of $32 million.

Speaking about the evolution of 9Unicorn’s investment thesis, Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma said, “9Unicorns is a sector and stage agnostic fund. While we are aiming to become the world’s largest accelerator fund with a razor-sharp focus on the idea and seed-stage startups, we have also started looking at Series B & C keeping in mind the new exit opportunities for startups via IPOs that India has startup witnessing lately for tech startups.”

He added that 9Unicorns is setting new benchmarks in the entire VC industry and that no one has been able to reach the numbers that they have. He looked forward to the new year and said that they are planning to be more aggressive and invest in 150 startups globally with investments rising up to approximately Rs 400 crores.

“We are highly optimistic about the early-stage deals in India as the ecosystem is expanding beyond the metros. Even during these unprecedented times, there was a spurt in the number of startups entering the startup ecosystem. Besides, the birth of 40-odd Unicorns in 2021, the highest ever, speaks volumes about the potential the country has to create over 200 Unicorns over the next 2-3 years. The pandemic has created a sea of opportunities for many of these startups and we expect to invest in about 200 startups in the coming year,” Dr Sharma added.

Touted as the YCombinator of India, 9Unicorns conducted its first virtual demo day in August wherein about 32 of its portfolio companies raised around $108 million in just two days from about 50 global VCs. The investment firm plans its second demo day in February , where about 60-odd startups are waiting to raise funds from some marquee Tier 1 VCs.

According to Rajesh Mane, Partner at 9Unicorns, “As we continue to build the largest entrepreneurial & investor community at 9Unicorns, we organized ‘D Day - Asia's largest demo day’, that was attended by 900+ foreign funds, family offices & domestic VCs. It's clearly a breakthrough moment for any Asian accelerator to operate on this scale. An overwhelming $144M were raised by 30 portfolio companies within 90 days since the D Day. Now the next one is planned in February & we are thrilled to welcome 1500+ investors to the same.”

Besides, organising Demo Day, 9Unicorns also helped startups by promoting cross-selling strategy amongst their portfolio companies through extensive portfolio development, a strategy that helped the startups achieve Rs 30 crore monthly milestone in revenues. It also conducted ‘C-Day’, a corporate demo day wherein it connected the portfolio companies to 1000+CXOs for mentorship and business support besides helping startups in their headhunting and talent acquisition programmes.

Backed by some well-known global VCs, LPs from across ten countries, family offices, and several Unicorn founders and entrepreneurs, 9Unicorns’ idea is to mentor idea stage start-ups and help create more billion-dollar companies from India.