India now has 65 companies that have turned unicorns, of which 28 have been created in 2021 alone, according to data from Venture Intelligence.
This year’s unicorns include gaming platform Mobile Premier League, groceries platform Grofers, cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX and fintech platform BharatPe.
A unicorn is any private company whose valuation is $1 billion or more. These 65 companies also include former unicorns, firms that have gone public or have been acquired.
The number of unicorns that India has been producing has been increasing for the years. Case in point, from 2011 to 2014, the country produced only one unicorn per year. But this figure jumped to four in 2015, further to eight in 2018, nine in 2019, 10 in 2020 and a whopping 28 in 2021 (and we are only nine months into this year). This trend, more than anything else, is indicative of the maturing start-up ecosystem of India and the investors’ faith to put their moolah in the country’s start-ups.
Among the cities that are home to these firms, Bengaluru continues to be India’s Silicon Valley with nine of this year’s unicorns originating from there. Mumbai comes right after with seven unicorns, followed by Gurgaon with three, Chennai, Delhi, Noida, and Pune with two each, and Thane with one unicorn.
Fintech has garnered the highest number of unicorns among sectors - five this year, thus far. It is closely followed by e-Commerce, SaaS (Software as a Service), marketplace (manufacturing services, jobs, used cars and handyman services) segments with four unicorns each, and edtech, NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Companies), B2B (business to business) sectors with two unicorns each. The other unicorns in 2021’s list belongs in segments such as gaming, cryptocurrency, logistics services, social media and conversational messaging.
This trend can be observed in other countries such as the UK and China as well. For instance, according to data from CB Insights, eight of the nine unicorns that the UK has produced so far this year, belong in the fintech space. In China as well, the fintech sector leads along with hardware space with four unicorns each, followed by artificial intelligence, edtech, health, internet software and services, supply chain, logistics and delivery sectors with three unicorns each.
On the other hand, data from CB Insights shows that, in the US, the internet software and services space has garnered the highest number of unicorns (50). Fintech comes a close second with 49 unicorns, followed by the health segment with 21 unicorns and the artificial intelligence sector with 15 unicorns.