India’s unicorns have created a whopping 2.84 million jobs

YourStory Research shows the 100 unicorns created over 2.50 million jobs for contractual and ancillary services providers, apart from 0.34 million full-time employment.

India’s startups have gained notoriety for a host of reasons—bloated valuations, founder tantrums, and so on—but there’s one area where they are a cut above many other sectors: job creation.

At a time when unemployment is becoming a hot issue, the Indian startup system is doing its bit by giving jobs to millions. More specifically, the 100 Unicorns of India have together provided a livelihood for a whopping 2.84 million people across the country.

YourStory Research shows that these unicorns created 0.34 million full-time jobs and 2.50 million jobs in ancillary areas like contractual employment, content creators, tutors, delivery partners, and drivers, among others.

That the unicorns are on the fast track is well-known. With a combined valuation of over $331 billion, and a cumulative fundraise of $62.9 billion, since 2011, the elite club of the Unicorns of India is growing at an unprecedented pace.

Even the pandemic did not deter their march, with 2021 seeing a record 44 startups being elevated to the billion-dollar valuation club. And the trend continued in 2022. Until early May, another 15 unicorns joined the club, taking the tally to 100.

At YourStory—India's biggest and definitive platform for startups—we were early to see the tide rising and hence built Unicorns of India as the go-to place to get deeper insights around these unicorns, their growth, funding details, and more.

Enriched with years of proprietary data collated by YourStory, the Unicorns of India platform is of-its-kind the real-time reference space for fans of unicorns, as well as all the stakeholders in the ecosystem.

The path-breaking offerings of the platform have moved way beyond the unicorn names and the names of their investors. The latest addition in the analytical kitty is the quantum of job creation by the 100 Unicorns of India.

In terms of total job creation, the top 10 unicorns have a lion’s share of 2.58 million jobs, accounting for 90.5 percent of the total.

Ola, with 1.5 million drivers in its ecosystem and 12,000 employees on its rolls, accounts for 53 percent of the total jobs created, followed by Zomato , which has 3.5 lakh delivery partners and 4,259 employees, representing 12.4 percent of the total job creation.

Flipkart (7.85 percent), Swiggy (7.19 percent), and Delhivery (3.10 percent) complete the top 5 on the job creation league table.

While the 100 unicorns’ job creation numbers can be sliced and diced in multiple ways, the most important point to note is that the 66,359 startups registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, since 2016 have created over 7.07 lakh (0.7 million) jobs until March 14 this year.

Given that a vast majority of the 100 unicorns were incorporated prior to January 2016, when the government green-flagged the Startup India Initiative, the contribution of the startups—including the Unicorns of India—is huge when it comes to nation-building through job creation.

Back in 2020, John Chambers, the former Chairman and CEO of Cisco who runs investment firm JC2 Ventures for startups told that he was creating a blueprint which he hoped would enable 1.2 million new jobs in India every month.

Speaking at YourStory’s TechSpark 2020, India’s most influential technology, innovation, and leadership summit, John said;

"It's a mind-boggling number—1.2 million new jobs per month—but I think it is very doable."

While the number may seem ambitious, the 100 unicorns' total job creation number of 2.84 million is inspiring in its own might and also strengthens the belief in India’s startup ecosystem.   

As the Unicorns of India continue to grow, the startup ecosystem will continue to get stronger and support the government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat ambitions.

Edited by Jarshad NK


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