INDIA 61 UNICORNS, OF WHICH 21 IN INDIA AND 40 OUTSIDE INDIA
HURUN RESEARCH FINDS 586 UNICORNS IN WORLD, UP 92 THIS YEAR
USA LEADS CHINA BY 233 TO 227, MAKING UP 78% OF WORLD’S UNICORNS
VALUED AT US$16BN, NOIDA BASED FINTECH COMPANY PAYTM BECOMES INDIA’S HIGHEST VALUED UNICORN
E-COMMERCE, FINTECH, AI AND SaaS ARE TOP 4 CORE COMPETENCE SECTORS OF WORLD’S UNICORNS, MAKING UP 45.9% OF THE SECTORAL UNIVERSE OF THESE UNICORNS
ONE-THIRD OF INDIAN UNICORNS CONDUCT BUSINESS IN THE E-COMMERCE SECTOR
36 INDIAN ORIGIN UNICORN FOUNDERS GRADUATED FROM IIT, WITH IIT DELHI THE MOST PREFERRED INSTITUTE
ONLY 5 FEMALE FOUNDERS OF INDIA’S UNICORNS, WITH REMAINING 104 MALE
USA BASED FINTECH COMPANY ROBINHOOD, CO-FOUNDED BY BAIJU BHATT IS MOST VALUABLE UNICORN FOUNDED BY AN INDIAN ORIGIN ENTREPRENEUR ABROAD
BENGALURU BASED FINTECH UNICORN ZERODHA IS INDIA’S LARGEST STOCKBROKER
SOFTBANK TAKES THE LEAD IN INVESTING INTO INDIAN UNICORNS, HAVING INVESTED IN NEARLY HALF OF THOSE
SEQUOIA WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL INVESTOR INTO UNICORNS, BEING A KEY INVESTOR IN ONE IN FIVE OF THE WORLD’S UNICORNS. OTHERS INCLUDE TENCENT, SOFTBANK, TIGER, IDG, GOLDMAN SACHS, AND ALIBABA
TOTAL VALUE OF ALL KNOWN UNICORNS IN INDIA US$73.2BN
TOTAL VALUE OF UNICORNS FOUNDED OVERSEAS BY INDIANS SUMS UP TO US$99.6BN
(04 August 2020, Mumbai, India and Oxford, United Kingdom) The Hurun Research Institute today released the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020, a ranking of the world’s billion-dollar tech ‘start-ups’ founded in the 2000s and not yet listed on a public exchange. This is the second year of the list and valuations are a snapshot of 31 March 2020.
Hurun Research found 586 unicorns in the world, based in 29 countries and 145 cities. On average, they were set up nine years ago, with 80% selling services and 60% consumer-facing. 5% were in traditional sectors, with the majority offering disruptive technology. The total value of all known unicorns in the world is US$1.8tn, equivalent to the GDP of Italy.
Hurun Report India MD and Chief Researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said: “India officially has 61 unicorns, but only 21 are headquartered in India, with the remaining started up by Indians overseas. We hope Hurun Global Unicorn Report 2020 would inspire entrepreneurs in India to create billion-dollar startups, serving the Prime Minister’s call for ‘aatma nirbhar’ Bharat”.
India’s Relative Positions
India contributes to the list by adding 21 unicorns in total. With the USA leading China by 233 TO 227, together they account for over 78% of the world’s unicorns. They are followed by the UK and India, who stand at the third and fourth position respectively.
Where are the Indian Unicorns based?
City-wise, Bengaluru is India’s unicorn capital with 8 unicorns, followed by Gurgaon and Noida, who have 6 and 2 unicorns respectively. Analysing the data on the basis of valuation, Bengaluru contributes to the unicorn list by adding unicorns worth US$29bn in total, while Gurgaon and Noida contribute by US$19bn each. Despite being home to only 2 of India’s unicorns, Noida has a 24% valuation share, since fintech company Paytm has a base in the city.
Years to Unicorn
The average age of Indian unicorns is 7 years, of which 2 are less than four years old. Ola Electric is the youngest unicorn on the list, being founded in 2017.
What is the business of these unicorns?
As a budding digital market, India holds the potential to explore the E-Commerce realm. It’s the number one core business sector for Indian unicorns, wherein 33% of them conduct business; It is followed by Fintech and Shared Economy, which serve as the business sectors for 4 and 2 unicorns from the list, respectively.
Which investors are the best at finding Indian unicorns?
From an investment aspect, Softbank takes the lead in India by finding and investing into nearly half of Indian unicorns. Alibaba comes next in this category, followed by Tiger Global Management, and Sequoia Capital.
Educational background of Unicorn Founders & Co-Founders
Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020 identified 61 Unicorns founded by Indian origin founders, who sum up to 109. Factors such as educational streams, their graduation and post-graduation universities and location of these universities were considered while analysing the educational background of these founders. Mentioned below are some insights into these aspects:
It comes as no surprise when we learn about the startup boom amongst the engineering graduates. Out of the 109 Indian origin unicorn founders from our list, around 66% hail from an engineering background, who comprise of 72 founders from the list. From these 72, a majority of them have majored in computer science and mechanical engineering. The rest 33% have graduate and/or post-graduate degrees in varied fields such as finance, accounts, economics, etc.
When we look at the countries from where they pursued their education, it comes out that 58 Indian origin founders are graduates from overseas universities. It has to be noted that these 58 founders also consist of those who have pursued their education in India as well as abroad. The USA is the most preferred higher education country, followed by the UK, amongst the Indian origin founders. From the total founders who opted for overseas education, nearly 86% preferred the USA.
While IIT is the popular institute amongst the Indian origin unicorn founders, IIM is the next popular one. IIT is the graduate school of 36 of these founders, i.e., around one-third of the unicorn founder population, who are based in India. 11 founders have a degree from India’s prominent management school, the IIM. Among the IITs, IIT Delhi takes the top position, IIT Kanpur the second, and IIT Kharagpur and Bombay the third position.
Top 10 Indian Unicorns
Top 10 Indian unicorns make up 78% of the total value of India’s unicorns, while Paytm alone claims nearly 22% of the total valuation share of these unicorns, with a valuation of US$16bn.
Paytm. Valued at US$16bn, Paytm is a leading Indian online payments company. It ranks 13th in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. Paytm was founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in 2010, with an initial investment of US$2mn. In its recent funding round held in November 2019, the company raised US$1bn. It was known that it was the highest amount raised by an Indian Unicorn in the year 2019. Currently, Paytm is the most valued Indian start-up.
OYO Rooms. Online Hotel booking platform OYO Rooms is currently valued at US$8bn. In October 2019, the startup’s founder, Ritesh Agarwal invested US$2bn in the company. Out of those, US$1.3bn were used to buy the stakes from two of the investors of the startup. This move nearly tripled Agarwal’s share in the company. The remaining US$700mn were infused as fresh capital.
BYJU’s. Byju Raveendran led ed-tech startup BYJU’s ranks 31st in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020, with a valuation of US$8bn. The learning platform was founded in 2011. In its recent funding round, the company has raised US$1.2bn. It is India’s largest ed-tech startup, as of date.
Ola Cabs. Indian ride-sharing app Ola ranks 49th in the list, with a business valuation of US$6bn. In October last year, the startup was valued at US$10bn. However, over a few months, its value has declined by US$4bn, marking its rank down by 6 positions. SoftBank, Tiger Global, Tencent, Matrix Partners, and DST Global are the major shareholders in the Unicorn startup.
Swiggy. Online food delivery startup Swiggy is currently valued at US$3.5bn. Swiggy began its operations since August 2014. The Unicorn received US$43mn as funding in April this year. This marks the total funding amount raised by the startup at US$156mn in its latest funding round.
Zomato. Valued at US$3.5bn, India’s leading food delivery platform, Zomato ranks 96th in the list. It was founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in the year 2008. To remain at the forefront of the online food delivery business, Zomato has invested in several other related startups as well. In January this year, the company raised US$150mn funding from Ant Financial.
Paytm Mall. At US$3bn, Paytm Mall is positioned at 108th rank in the Unicorn list. The E-commerce platform is a venture of Paytm, an Indian online payments company, which is in operation since 2016. It is known that the operational rate of the platform is up to 300,000 orders per day. In its recent corporate round of funding, the app raised US$150mn from eBay, an American e-commerce company.
ReNew Power. Sumant Sinha led ReNew Power is valued at US$3bn and ranks 108th as per the list. The renewable energy giant began its operations in January 2011. In February last year, the company raised US$250mn from US-bases Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The company’s renewable energy projects are spread throughout several Indian states.
Zerodha. Fintech company Zerodha’s current valuation is US$3bn, and shares the 108th position in the list, along with ReNew Power. The startup was founded by the Kamath brothers, Nithin and Nikhil Kamath in 2010. In June this year, GoldenPi, an online bonds and debentures trading platform, raised INR3.5Crore from Zerodha, through Rainmatter capital, a fund created by Zerodha in 2016.
BigBasket. With a business valuation of US$2.5bn, BigBasket is one of India’s leading online grocery store. The Bengaluru based startup was founded in October 2011. In May 2019, the company paved a way for itself in the Unicorn startups’ list, when it secured funding of US$150mn. In its latest round of funding, BigBasket has managed to raise debt-based funding worth US$51.78mn from Alibaba and CDC Group.
Udaan. B2B startup Udaan, which is currently valued at US$2.5bn, ranks 156th in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. It was founded in 2016 by Flipkart’s ex-employees Amod Malviya, Vaibhav Gupta, and Sujeet Kumar. The startup has raised around US$900mn in total funding to date. Out of which, US$30mn was raised in March this year. Before this, it had raised US$585mn in October 2019.
BillDesk. Valued at US$2bn, BillDesk ranks 170th in the list. A fintech company, it was founded in the year 2000 by Karthik Ganapathy, Ajay Kaushal and MN Srinivasu. The company is headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and it achieved a Unicorn status in November 2018. At the beginning of the year 2019, American payment company Visa and Singapore based investment company Temasek Holdings infused INR600Crore in the company.
Delhivery. Gurgaon based startup Delhivery’s valuation stands at US$2bn as per Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. The company holds 170th Rank in the list this year. It began its operations in the year 2011 after it was founded by Bhavesh Manglani, Kapil Bharati, Mohit Tandon, Sahil Barua and Suraj Saharan. The logistics firm secured funding of US$115mn from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in the later part of 2019.
Mu Sigma. Sharing the 170th position along with two other startups in the list, Mu Sigma has a valuation of US$2bn. The Bengaluru based big-data company is led by Dhiraj C Rajaram, an engineering graduate. The company took off its operations in 2004. Funding firms Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic and MasterCard have been Mu Sigma’s major investors.
Lenskart. E-commerce company involved in eyewear products, Lenskart is valued at US$1.5bn in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. In December last year, the company raised US$231mn from SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Lenskart is currently exploring the digital and AI tools to reach out to its current and potential customers.
PolicyBazaar. Ranked at the 257th position in the list, fintech company PolicyBazaar is valued at US$1.5bn. The startup was founded by Alok Bansal, an IIM graduate, Yashish Dahiya and Avaneesh Nirjar, who are IITians. The company achieved a Unicorn status in 2018. In its recent round of funding, it has received US$130mn worth of funding from SoftBank.
FirstCry. FirstCry is valued at US$1.2bn and ranks 339th in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. At the beginning of 2020, the E-commerce company raised US$300mn from SoftBank’s Vision Fund and entered the Unicorn club of companies. It was founded by Amitava Saha, Sanket Hattimattur and Supam Maheshwari in 2010.
Dream11. Gaming company Dream11 has a valuation of US$1bn in the list and holds the 351st position in the same. Until its recent funding round held in April 2019, the company had raised a total of US$100mn in 5 rounds. In the same month, it bagged the tag of becoming India’s first gaming company to enter the Unicorn club.
Hike. Popular as a messenger app, Hike is valued at US$1bn in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. The communication platform was started by Kavin Bharti Mittal in 2012. Hike has raised total funds of US$261mn in 5 rounds of funding, the recent one being in August 2016. Foxconn Technology Group, Tencent Holdings, and Tiger Global Management are the key investors in the platform.
Ola Electric. Ola Electric is valued at US$1bn and ranks 351st in the list. The company, which deals in EV products, was founded by Anand Shah and Ankit Jain in 2017. In March 2020, Ola Electric raised US$1mn, while having raised a total sum of US$307mn till date. In mid-2019, when SoftBank infused US$250mn in the company, it was able to achieve Unicorn status.
Rivigo. Ranked at the 351st position in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020, Rivigo has a total valuation of US$1bn. The Gurgaon-based logistics company was founded by IIT graduates Deepak Garg and Gazal Kalra in 2014. SAIF Partners and Warburg Pincus are the major investors in the startup, with both of them having led an investment round for the company in June 2019, wherein it raised US$65mn.
Top gainers in a year
India has added 3 new unicorns to the list this year. Along with being the highest valued Indian unicorn, fintech company PayTm is also the highest gainer in the Indian unicorn category. Over a year’s period, the company has managed to increase its valuation by a whooping US$6bn. The next highest gainer is OYO Rooms, who marked up its valuation by US$3bn. Here are the companies who increased their valuations by US$1bn in the recent year:
Unicorn co-founded by Indian Origin Entrepreneurs
There are 61 global Unicorn companies in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020 who have Indian origin founders. A total of 40 companies who are located outside India have at least one founder having an Indian origin.
The cumulative valuation of the companies in this category stands at US$99.6bn (40 companies), which is around 1.4 times that of the cumulative value of the Unicorn startups based in India (21 companies). Fintech company Robinhood is the most valued unicorn founded overseas by an Indian origin founder, with a valuation of US$8.5bn. Even though Robinhood is the highest valued company, Automation Anywhere, an AI company is the highest gainer in this category. Its valuation increased by US$4bn over a year’s period.
Location of these unicorns
Talking about the location of these startups, the USA is the most preferred country by the Indian origin entrepreneurs to establish their ventures, with almost 90% of the Indian origin founders placing the USA over any other country. The remaining 10% are based in Europeean countries such as UK, Germany, Switzerland.
13 out of the 40 companies in this section have their core competence sector as Software as a Service (SaaS), followed by Artificial Intelligence, which is the sector of 5 companies
Listed below are the companies located outside India that have an Indian origin entrepreneur in their founding teams:
Here are some of the interesting unicorns picked from the above list:
Robinhood. At a valuation of US$8.5bn, Robinhood is the highest valued unicorn startup who has an Indian origin founder, Baiju Bhatt. Bhatt is a physics graduate from Stanford University. The fintech startup offers services in cash management, stocks and funds, options, gold and even cryptocurrencies.
Roivant Sciences. Switzerland based biotech company Roivant Sciences is valued at US$7bn in the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. It is the second highest valued unicorn founded by an Indian origin founder overseas. Roivant Sciences develops innovative drugs by building biotech and healthcare technology companies, termed as ‘Vants’.
Freshworks. Ranked amongst the top 100 unicorns in the list, Freshworks has a valuation of US$3.5bn. It was founded by engineering graduates Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy in 2010. The startup aims at building softwares for businesses. Recently in 2020, Freshworks acquired technology companies Flint and AnsweriQ.
Sprinklr. SaaS startup Sprinklr is valued at US$2bn in the list. It was founded in 2009 in the USA, by Ragy Thomas, a Kerala born techie. The startup assists businesses in enhancing their customer experience management. Headquartered in NYC, the company operates in 15 countries. The company has a fancy client list that includes Microsoft, Nike, McDonald’s, etc.
Postman. Valued at US$2bn, San Francisco based technology startup Postman is a new entrant to the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020. It was founded in 2011 by three Indian origin founders, Abhijit Kane, Abhinav Asthana and Ankit Sobti. In June 2020, the API development platform entered the unicorn club by raising US$150mn in a Series C funding round.
The Hurun Global Unicorns 2020 is compiled by the Hurun Research Institute with a 30 March 2020 cut-off. Hurun defines a ‘unicorn’ as a start-up founded in the 2000s that has reached a valuation of US$1bn, but not yet listed on a public exchange.
Hurun Research believes the Hurun Global Unicorns 2020 to be the most serious attempt to capture all of the world’s unicorns into one list.
Valuing unicorns can be tricky. The very nature of these super-fast growing companies makes valuations hard to pin down, but to ensure consistency of the valuations, the Hurun research team used the most recent valuation based on a sizeable round. Small pieces of companies are sometimes sold, theoretically changing the value of the whole business.
The Hurun research team used databases that specialize in recording rounds of investments by the professional investment world, cross-checking the data with some of the world’s top investment houses, industry experts, journalists and media sources.
Unicorns can drop out from the list either by going public (IPO), being acquired by another company, or dropping in valuation.
Hurun Research has been tracking China’s top unicorns for the past three years, starting with the Hurun China Unicorn Index.
Disclaimer. All the data collection and the research has been done by the Hurun. This report is meant for information purposes only. Reasonable care and caution have been taken in preparing this report. The information contained in this report has been obtained from sources that are considered reliable. By accessing and/or using any part of the report, the user accepts this disclaimer and exclusion of liability which operates to the benefit of Hurun. Hurun does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information contained in the report and neither shall it be responsible for any errors or omissions in or for the results obtained from the use of such information. No third party whose information is referenced in this report under the credit to it, assumes any liability towards the user with respect to its information. Hurun shall not be liable for any decisions made by the user based on this report (including those of investment or divestiture) and the user takes full responsibility for their decisions made based on this report. Hurun shall not be liable to any user of this report (and expressly disclaim liability) for any loss, damage of any nature, including but not limited to direct, indirect, punitive, special, exemplary, consequential losses, loss of profit, lost business and economic loss regardless of the cause or form of action and regardless of whether or not any such loss could have been foreseen.
About Hurun Inc. – Promoting Entrepreneurship Through Lists and Research
Hurun Report is a leading media and events group established in London in 1999 with a strong presence in China and India. It is widely recognized world-over for its research and lists, and its comprehensive evaluation of the wealthiest individuals across the globe. Hurun Report is the largest compiler of rich lists globally.
Hurun Report Inc. has three divisions: Hurun Research, Hurun Events and Media and Hurun Investments, with a portfolio of 20 investments ranging from media to education, hospitality, Intellectual Property as well as a tailor.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Tel: +91- 99950 61106