In the last decade, 22 per cent of Indian unicorns were started by solopreneurs as compared to two or more co-founders leading the other 78 per cent, according to an analysis by PrivateCircle Research.

Further, 40 per cent of these solopreneurs have started fintech unicorns including CRED, Slice, GoDigit Insurance, Acko and others. Interestingly, India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru was the most preferred headquarters location for solopreneurs of the last decade.

While success in business is dependent on various factors, the data suggests a higher win rate for start-ups with two or more founders. PrivateCircle found that Indian unicorns, on average, have two founders. Further, the average revenue generated by cofounded unicorns (₹2,909 cr) was found to be 32 per cent more than the average revenue of solo founder unicorns (₹2,196 cr). This is based on the latest revenue numbers available for each company.

Central tendencies

Murali Loganathan, Director of Research at PrivateCircle said, “The founding team size dilemma is one of the oldest dilemmas faced by start-up founders. Ultimately, the choice depends on the individual’s temperament, goals, and the specific dynamics of the venture they are embarking upon. Variation in central tendencies of both the groups indicates that investors prefer co-founder led companies. It can also be a function of co-founders being able to tap a larger network of contacts.”

According to the report, there is also variation in central tendencies of both groups, indicating that on average co-founder led companies raise more funding than solopreneurs. Central Tendency is the statistical measure that represents the single value of the entire distribution or a dataset.

However, some solopreneur-led unicorns have managed to raise large funding rounds especially from Bangalore. Additionally, six unicorns led by solopreneurs have successfully launched their IPOs, while seven unicorns led by founding teams have been listed on the stock exchange.

Alternative dilemmas

One of the major decisions that founders make while starting up is whether to partner with a co-founder or be a solo entrepreneur. Both choices have their pros and cons. Starting up as a solo entrepreneur gives you a great degree of control over the company’s decisions and one can also avoid equity dilution.

Solopreneurs are also able to avoid co-founder conflicts which could become a reason for start-up failure. However, starting up alone can be lonely. As a solopreneur, you have no one to bounce off ideas or share stress. Going solo also means you don’t have an extensive network as you would have with a co-founder. This could limit your resources and opportunities for growth, said the report.