In 2021, India added three ‘unicorns’ each month, virtually doubling the entire number of startups valued at over USD 1 billion to 51 as of end-August, according to a research.
Meanwhile, burdensome laws are compelling businesses to leave India and relocate to nations with more favourable treatment, according to Hurun India, which compiled the list.
It is worth noting that the government has made concerted efforts over the last few years to nurture the startup ecosystem through flagship initiatives such as ‘Startup India’.
Hurun estimated that 32 gazelles with a market value of over USD 500 million can achieve unicorn status in two years, while 54 cheetahs with a market value of over USD 200 million can acquire the coveted status in four years, according to the Hurun India Future Unicorn list.
The prospective unicorns are worth at USD 36 billion, it added, noting that the transition to unicorn status can occur quickly, as evidenced by five ‘cheetahs’ who leaped directly into the unicorn club within the last eight months.
Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher at Hurun India, stated that compiling the list of companies that receive private placements was a difficult effort, adding that inputs from venture capital funds were obtained.
“India currently has over 600 million internet users and is on track to reach 900 million by 2025. Adoption of the internet in rural areas will bolster the growth of technological start-ups even further. Fintech companies involved in mobile payments, insurance, blockchain technology, stock trading, and digital loans will continue to expand in order to leverage on increased internet usage “‘He stated.
India is currently third on the list of countries with the most unicorns, behind the United States (396) and China (277), but ahead of the United Kingdom (32) and Germany (18), it claimed.
Rahman, however, cautioned that the figure may be higher in India due to the fact that several businesses have left the nation after hitting a certain level of scale in search of better rules and capital availability.
“Some of the most successful corporate SaaS (software as a service) companies were founded in India but later relocated to the United States. This is a missed opportunity for India, and it is critical that these start-ups remain in the country “‘He stated.
Zilingo, an e-commerce platform, tops the list of potential Unicorns, followed by Mobile Premier League and Rebel Foods.
At a time when debates over the value of pedigree rage, the list stated that IITs and IIMs are the most prolific breeding grounds for successful entrepreneurs, with 17 founders graduating from IIT Delhi, 15 from IIT Bombay, and 13 from IIT Kanpur, while IIM-Ahmedabad was the preferred post-graduation school with 13 founders.
Bengaluru leads the list with 31 businesses, followed by Delhi NCR with 18, and Mumbai with 13.
According to the report, 11 of the companies on the list had co-founders under the age of 30, while 15 had co-founders above the age of 50.
Sequoia is the largest investor in the Gazelles and Cheetahs on the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021, with 37 and 18 investments, respectively.
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