Throwback: Best of 2021

At YourStory, we discovered some inspiring and amazing stories — of entrepreneurs from all corners of the country throughout the year 2021.
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2021 was a year to remember — the good, bad, and ugly. 

From launching the world’s largest vaccination drive to a second wave that almost brought the country’s healthcare system to a standstill, from stories of businesses shutting down unable to cope with losses to 44 new startups entering the unicorn club, and more.

At YourStory, we discovered some inspiring and amazing stories — of entrepreneurs from all corners of the country. We also took a dive into the trends driving Indic Inc, from hiring to funding, sectors winning the pandemic disruptions, and more. Read here.

The SMBStory team compiled 25 compelling stories of MSME business leaders who are innovating to leverage the ‘new normal’. You can download and read our ebook The Unsung Heroes here

Rightfully hailed as the year of unicorns, 2021 saw 44 Indian startups cross the $1-billion valuation, entering the coveted unicorn club — more than double of the 33 unicorns India saw cumulatively between 2011 and 2020. 

While these 44 unicorns have raised nearly $17.8 billion over the years, they raised over $12.3 billion during 2021 alone, across 86 funding transactions that involved multiple round-types. Find more insights on India’s 77 unicorns on our real-time data platform Unicorns of India.

We also discovered and featured more than 400 startups throughout 2021 — stories of determination, innovation, successes, challenges, and more. You can read some of the best ones here.

Last but not least, if you are looking for a dash of inspiration to start your year, click here for some quotes on failure, resilience, and success.

For a complete overview of the best of YourStory in 2021, check out our Year in Review coverage here.

Editor’s Pick: Offline retail in 2022, and beyond

Last year, offline stores remained shut during the lockdown, except for the ones dealing in essential items. This resulted in ecommerce growing at an all-time high pace in India with order volume increasing by 36 percent in the last quarter of 2020. 

However, as the market opened up in 2021, it didn’t take long for customers to resort back to the offline mode of shopping, flocking to stores as soon as they could. To understand the future of offline retail, SMBStory spoke to entrepreneurs and industry experts. Read more.

Image credits: Team SMB

Startup Spotlight

From edtech to AI-as-a-Service

CellStrat, a YourStory Tech50 2021 startup, has curated a global AI community of over 15,000 enthusiasts through its edtech platform and is now growing a global developer platform for AI projects and APIs on the Cloud.

Soft skills for the young 

KidEx, a YourStory’s 2021 Tech50 startup, is a data-driven digital platform that offers children’s classes and conducts competitions around extracurricular, co-curricular, and life-skill activities.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Gupshup co-founder & CEO Beerud Sheth

Every failed attempt adds vital learnings to the next innovation, and one of them is bound to work and turn big.

Beerud Sheth, Group CEO and Co-founder, Gupshup


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