Is India ready for more women-founded unicorns?

Of the 15 unicorns of 2022, 5 have a woman co-founder. Does this mean the Indian startup ecosystem is finally ready to be more than yet another boys’ club?
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Hello Readers, 

In 2012, when investment banker-turned entrepreneur Falguni Nayar decided to launch Nykaa, little did she know the long-lasting impact her venture would have on the Indian startup ecosystem.

Eight years later, Nykaa became the first solo woman-founded startup in India to enter the coveted unicorn club. Incidentally, India’s 100th—and latest—unicorn Open has two woman co-founders (alongside two male co-founders). 

Last year, Nykaa also became the first profitable unicorn to go public, a company led by a solo woman entrepreneur. Yet, woman entrepreneurs seem to have a long way to go when it comes to impacting the boys’ club that is the Indian startup ecosystem. 

To be fair, India now has 15 unicorns that have at least one woman in the founding team. Interestingly, Nykaa remains the only one with a solo woman founder to have achieved this milestone. The other 14 have at least one or more male co-founders as well.  

In fact, this year saw five startups—LEAD, Hasura, Amagi, Oxyzo, and Open—with at least one woman co-founder enter the unicorn club. This is one-third of the total 15 unicorns that emerged in 2022 so far, the highest ever. 

However, this still means that only 15 percent of India’s 100 unicorns have at least one woman founder. So, has the needle really moved? Read more.


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In an interview with YourStory, Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy, Co-founder of The ePlane Company, talks about electric planes, drone regulations affecting the sector, his journey, and more. Read more


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Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Saket Modi and John Chambers

Leaders need to take risks and move fast. It is better to stumble first than arrive last. 

—  John Chambers, former Executive Chairman and CEO, Cisco 


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