- While 10 Indian startup entered the coveted unicorn club in 2018, 2019 saw eight startups becoming unicorn taking the number to 34.
- Two Indian startups from Pune became unicorn this year. Cloud data security firm Druva, ride-hailing company Ola’s electric vehicle arm Ola Electric, and SaaS provider company Icertis are on the list of surprise unicorns for the year.
Since then, Indian start-ups have routinely crossed the threshold with large international conglomerates such as SoftBank, Alibaba, Tencent, and Bytedance joining the Indian market with a bang and signing massive checks. Such tickets from abroad helped India become home to 34 unicorns. While 10 startups entered the coveted club in 2018, 2019 saw eight startups ‘ journey claiming a unicorn’s tag. Also, five of the seven startups that joined the unicorn club were B2B.
Two unicorns from Pune were also added this year. Cloud data security firm Druva, ride-hailing company Ola’s electric vehicle arm Ola Electric, and SaaS provider company Icertis are on the list of surprise unicorns for the year. Such three are an important addition to the list, mostly because their journeys vary so much.
From Ola Electric raising high-value capital (while the service is still to be rolled out) to Druva’s sooner-than-expected entrance into the unicorn club and Icertis ‘ jump in the financing, all three have somehow shocked the ecosystem. Especially as their rise comes in fronts of some older startups like Zerodha, Nazara, IndiaMART, Pepperfry and many more.
Here are the Startups which became Unicorns in 2019-
- Big Basket- Big Basket became the first grocery delivery Unicorn of India. Founded in 2011 by VS Sudhakar, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh, V S Ramesh, and Abhinay Choudhari, BigBasket is a grocery start-up that has extended its product range to include but is not limited to, household basic items and cosmetics. The startup has so far raised $1.02 billion and has brand investors such as Alibaba Group, Helion Venture Partners, Paytm Mall, Helion Venture Partners, Mirae Asset Global Investments from South Korea and the UK-backed CDC Group.
- Delhivery- Founded in 2011, Gurugram based e-commerce delivery startup, Delhivery joined the ever-growing unicorn list of Indian startups after raising $400 Mn-plus funding round led by Japanese investment firm SoftBank. Valued at $1.5 billion, It was founded by Mohit Tandon, Sahil Barua, Bhavesh Manglani, Kapil Bharati, and Suraj Saharan. The startup has services in more than 600 cities in India. Delhivery recently acquired the India business of Dubai-based Courier giant Aramex. Further, the company is planning to introduce electric vehicles & drones to grow logistics support.
- Druva- Druva provides cloud data protection and information management solutions to companies by using cloud computing. It was founded by Jaspreet Singh, Milind Borate, and Ramani Kothandaraman in 2008. It’s major clients include- NASA, Pharma giant Pfizer, Hotel leaders Marriot, Global logistics giant DHL and many more. The firm has so far raised about $328 million and relies on investors such as Neuberger Berman and Atreides Group, Riverwood Capital, Tenaya Capital, and Nexus Venture Partners, among others, for their funding.
- Icertis- Founded in 2009 by Monish Darda and Samir, Seattle and Pune based SaaS startup Icertis joined the long list of SaaS-based Indian Unicorns such as Zoho, Freshworks, and Druva. The startup is a cloud-based company contract management service. Icertis Contract Management (ICM), the company’s flagship product, can handle, offer, buy-side, and corporate contracts across the globe by leveraging the cloud’s strength. From B Capital Group, Cross Creek Advisors, Eight Roads, Ignition Ventures, among others, the SaaS technology firm has raised capital of over $211 million.
- Ola Electric- Incorporated in March 2019, Ola Electric had previously raised $56 million (INR 400 Cr) from investors including Ratan Tata, Tiger Global, and Matrix Partners. The firm has recently received $11.9 million from South Korean carmaker Hyundai and $2.9 million from Hyundai’s Kia subsidiary. The high valuation now commanded by Ola Electric is reflective of the rising confidence in India’s EV market that was valued at $71.1 million in 2017 and is projected to reach $707.4 million by 2025. Ola Electric currently operates multiple pilots with charging options, battery swapping stations, and vehicle distribution through two, three, and four-wheeler segments.
- Dream11- Dream11, the brainchild of fantasy gamers, football fans and childhood buddies Harsh Jain (33, chief executive officer and co-founder) and Bhavit Sheth (33, chief operating officer and co-founder), was launched a decade back and is headquartered in Mumbai. Both Jain and Sheth have a background in engineering and business administration. The startup of fantasy gaming claims to have over 50 Mn users and allows them to demonstrate their sporting expertise through fantasy gaming. The company had a few pivots despite its launch in 2008 and only took on its current form in 2012. Today, Dream11 is seen as a leader in the fantasy gaming industry— according to KPMG, the number of fantasy sports users in India rose from just 2 million users in June 2016 to over 50 million users in 2018.
- Rivigo- Another logistics startup in the list, Rivigo joins the unicorn club on the backing of around $4.9 Mn funding in September 2019 from a South Korea-based investor KB Global Platform Fund. Rivigo, founded by Gazal Kalra and Deepak Garg in 2014, owns and operates more than 2,100 trucks and has a network spanning 150 locations across India. It offers pan-India delivery services to companies in e-commerce, pharmacy, automotive, cold-chain, and fast-moving consumer goods.
- Lenskart- Eyewear retailer Lenskart became the latest to join the unicorn club since, according to data analytics company paper.VC, it received a Series G round of funding from the SoftBank Vision Fund. SoftBank is investing in the company in $231 million, up to $1.5 billion in its valuation. Three months ago, Lenskart also earned more than $55 million from Kedaara Capital. Reports also said Kedaara’s investment might be a secondary deal as Premji Invest and Chiratae Ventures are going to sell some of their shares. Lenskart is often the focus of many memes with deals and discounts for the multiple messages it sends to customers. Founded in 2008 by Peyush Bansal, Sumeet Kapahi, Amit Chaudhary, with multiple stores, Lenskart had expanded rapidly. It has more than 535 stores throughout the country.
With Indian startups growing at a fast pace, a lot more inclusion of startups is expected in Unicorn Club in 2020.