Eight Indian startups join unicorn club this year

Photo: Pixabay

The pace at which Indian startups are becoming unicorns, it may soon turn into a stampede.

As many as eight Indian startups have garnered the coveted distinction of being valued at more than $1 billion this year—half of them just this week—as investors jostled for a slice of companies that have gained the most from the accelerated digitization of the economy because of the pandemic.

Startups that have turned unicorns in 2021 include infrastructure technology provider Infra.Market; health-tech provider InnovAcer; non-bank lender Five Star Business Finance; e-pharmacy API Holdings; social commerce startup Meesho; and fintech companies Digit Insurance, Groww and Cred.

The first week of April, in fact, has been especially good for startups, with four already achieving unicorn status and a fifth one in the artificial intelligence space expected to cross the $1 billion-valuation mark this week.

Unsurprisingly, investments in Indian startups have soared to a two-year high in the quarter to March, and the current boom isn’t showing any sign of slowing down.

Most of the recently funded startups have seen a threefold jump in valuations, compared with their last funding round.

For instance, Meesho, which was recently valued at $2.1 billion, saw its valuation triple from its previous funding round in 2019. Investment platform Groww also saw a near-threefold growth.

Surplus dry powder with venture capital firms, a positive outlook towards public listings and a strong equity market performance are giving investors confidence to make the risky bets, analysts said.

“With covid, it is clear that digital acceleration has happened, leading to heightened investments in new-age entities which deliver services through technology-first models. There are 2-3 top players that have emerged now in each sector as a function of market maturity among Indian startups. Hence, it is clear that a higher quantum.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.