2020 has been a year of ups and downs for most of the businesses. A lot of startups took a hit of the ongoing pandemic while a few of them used this opportunity to create new possibilities.
Here, we look at the Top 10 startups of 2020 in India:-
In June this year, the decade-old bootstrapped start-up Zerodha joined the unicorn group, with a self-assessed valuation of about $1 billion, based on the start-ESOP up’s buyback exercise. Each share was priced at more than four times the Rs 700 book value per share.
The Bengaluru start-up reported rapid growth in the COVID-19 pandemic, doubling its average monthly user additions from pre-COVID-19 levels to about 200,000 users per month from March 2020 onwards.
The start-up accomplished this with the help of first-time investors who, due to the ongoing recession, wanted to take advantage of the sharp declines in the financial markets.
Zerodha was established in 2010 by Nithin Kamath and Nikhil Kamath and posted a net profit of Rs 350 crore on FY19 revenues of Rs 850 crore. Over the past five years, it has also seen its overall client base grow by nearly 40X to 2.8 million.
Edtech start-up Unacademy joined the billion-dollar club in September of this year, riding on the boom in online learning. A $150 million funding round led by SoftBank was raised by the Bengaluru-based tech start-up, valuing the company at $1.45 billion.
Unacademy was officially launched in 2015. It is a Bangalore based Edtech platform founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Himesh Singh. Roman, a professional doctor and an IAS from the 2013 batch left the administrative services to teach in Unacademy. He realized that more than 75% of IAS aspirants cannot afford the coaching classes.
He joined Gaurav to help underprivileged students and became a chief educator in the startup. Himesh Singh was also a part of FlatChat with Gaurav and he took the same position of Chief Technical Officer in Unacademy as well.
At present, with a network of over 18,000 teachers and over 350,000 users, the tech platform based in Bengaluru said it plans to use the funds to launch new products and recruit new talent.
Other than funding, valuation, and acquisition success, Unacademy also became one of the central sponsors of IPL for the 3 years term.
Cars24, the online used car marketplace, joined the unicorn club after a Series E round worth $200 million led by DST Global. In the latest round, current backers Exor Seeds, Moore Strategic Projects, and Unbound also participated.
Cars24 is the first company to evaluate more than $1 billion from the used car space.
This is a 2X leap in the value of Cars24 in one year. Last year in October, the Gurugram-based firm raked in $100 million in the Series D round led by Unbound and KCK Global. To develop new market verticals and improve its product and technology capabilities, the net proceeds will be used.
Cars24 has an asset-heavy model, which purchases the car on behalf of dealers, co-founded by Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal. Cars24 is going to double down on bikes, according to Chopra, a new category that started several months ago.
Already, Cars24 claims to have handled over 3,000 two-wheelers so far. Chopra also claims that the transaction volume of the company has exceeded its pre-Covid volumes by more than 20 percent, and with over 15,000 cars transacted each month, month-on-month sales stand at around $50 million.
Mobile Premier League
MPL was established in 2018 by Kiran G and Shubham Malhotra of Sai Srinivas. It offers a wide pool of games such as chess, quizzes, fantasy football, free fire, rummy, 8 ball 3D pool, carriage, ludo, and more. In these online games, the company also offers real cash prizes to those who win. MPL has more than 40 online games via its mobile application that can be accessed.
On November 17, 2020, as the new kit sponsor and the product partner of both the national men’s and women’s sides as well as the U-19 team, replacing Nike, the BCCI (the Board of Control for Cricket in India) formally announced MPL sports apparel and accessories. This strategic alliance is a three-year deal, that is to say, from November 2020 to December 2023.
The youngest startup on the list, MPL saw rousing success during the recently concluded edition of IPL.
In January 2020, after collecting an undisclosed sum from New York-based Mastercard financial services, Pine Labs became the first unicorn of 2020.
While the transaction details were not disclosed, according to sources, the funding round was pegged at $100-$150 million (Rs 713-1,069 crore). With this, Pine Labs, which is backed by Sequoia Funds, is now estimated at $1.5-1.6 billion.
Noida-based start-up, founded in 1998 by Lokvir Kapoor, Rajul Garg, and Tarun Upadhyay, provides a merchant platform and makes point of sale (PoS) computer software. Pine Labs handles $30 billion per annum in payments and supports approximately 140,000 merchants across 450,000 network points.
In India, the EdTech sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 52% to become a $2 Billion industry by 2021. And if we look at the global level, the EdTech industry will achieve $10 Trillion growth by 2030. One of the leaders in ed-tech BYJU’s took total advantage of lockdown as everyone was locked in their homes and they had to resort to online classes.
Indian students have made the transition to online learning alternatives with the suspension of classes due to a national lockout.
Since launching free access in March, Edtech company BYJU’s, which is on UNESCO’s list of distance learning sites, experienced a staggering 150 percent rise in new enrollments. This makes up 6 million new students in a month for BYJU’s
BYJU’s also saw its revenue double during the ongoing pandemic.
The startup Reputation of Kunal Shah, powerful ad campaigns and visibility during IPL has made CRED a household name. The credit card payment startup, launched in November 2018, has been in the news for its fast-growing popularity among users.
This year earlier with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. CRED launched new features such as CRED RentPay, which allows members to pay monthly rent with their credit cards and CRED Stash, which claims to be “the fastest, most seamless and fully digital way to obtain credit in India.”
Razorpay gained unicorn status in October 2020. In the Series D funding co-led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and Sequoia Capital India, Fintech startup Razorpay raised $100 million. With this round, the payment start-up based in Bengaluru joined the unicorn club in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since its inception in 2014, the latest financing has provided Razorpay with $206.5 million in investments, which includes its recent $75 million fundraisings in Series C in 2019.
Co-founders Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar founded the start-up in 2014 in an attempt to make the payment process easy for start-ups and SMEs.
Razorpay currently authorises payments to more than five million firms, including Airtel, BookMyShow, Facebook, Ola, Zomato, Swiggy, Cred, and ICICI Prudential, among others.
The Ratan Tata-backed e-commerce platform B2B is also claimed as one of India’s next unicorns. The startup is specialized in the procurement, among others, of industrial products such as MRO (manufacture, repair, and operating supplies), fasteners, electrical, hardware, pneumatics, and safety items.
The company was founded by Rahul Garg in 2015 and has also raised funds from IFC, Accel Partners, Jungle Ventures, Venture Highway, SeedPlus and Rocketship. VC. Garg is the ex-head of Google Asia‘s advertising exchange.
Its final known July 2019 valuation is $300 million.
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. Jain was a marketing manager at a manufacturing company; Sheth was a financial research intern at an IT company, before founding Dream11.
2020 was a huge success for Dream11 as it roped the title sponsorship for IPL 2020 which helped them in gaining a huge number of users for their platform.