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List of Unicorn Startups In India [2021 Updated]

List of Unicorn Startups In India [2021 Updated]

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The term unicorn has taken the startup ecosystem by storm. In 2021, it’s raining unicorns in India. Today, unicorn startups in India have changed people’s lifestyles and carved their own niche in the market. But, what separates an ordinary startup from a unicorn? What are the eligibility criteria for a startup to be called a unicorn?

Read on to know more about some of the most successful unicorn startups in India. This list is based on the funding data available in the public domain.

The term Unicorn is used to describe a privately owned startup with a valuation of more than $1 billion. This name was first given by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, founder of CowboyVC.

As of 2021, there are hundreds of unicorn startups around the world. In India, there are over 20 unicorn startups. These startups are spread over a diverse range of industries including eCommerce, Fintech, Edtech, Hospitality, and more. The Unicorn buzz is pushing entrepreneurs to give their best and never give up on their dreams. Scroll down to read inspiring stories of some best unicorn startups in India.

1) Cred

This is the screenshot of the Cred website. Cred is one of the leading unicorn startups in India

Type of Startup: FinTech

Founders: Kunal Shah

Founded Date: 2018

Funding: Dragoneer Investment Group, Tiger Global Management, Sofina

Website: https://cred.club/

App: Cred on Google Play Store

Cred, an Indian FinTech company, joined the unicorn club in 2021 with a massive valuation of USD 2.2 billion. Since 2018, the company claims to have added more than 6 million credit card users. With USD 2 billion valuations, Cred has become the youngest Indian unicorn startup.

Cred serves as an ideal platform for credit card users to pay their credit card dues and get rewarded. Users can also track expenditure on different credit cards and get reminders to pay their bills through Cred. What’s more? Cred members can automate their credit card payments and get real-time alerts on duplicate transactions.

2) Groww

Screenshot of Groww website. Groww is one of the top unicorn startups in India. It operates in fintech space and makes the process of buying/selling of stocks, gold, etc. way easier

Type of Startup: FinTech

Founders: Harsh Jain, Ishan Bansal, Lalit Keshre, and Neeraj Singh.

Founded Date: 2017

Funding: Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital

Website: https://groww.in/

App: Groww on Google Play Store

Groww is an online investment platform that allows users to invest and trade online. Users can invest in stocks, mutual funds, gold, ETFs and IPOs through this platform. Groww aims to provide the easiest trading experience to every investor.

Users can also get insights about mutual funds, systematic investment planning (SIP) and everything related to personal finance on Groww. The platform strives to make investing easy, accessible and hassle-free.

3) PharmEasy

Pharmeasy is the #1 medicine delivery company in India. In addition to medicines, it also offers diagnostics and doctor consultation services.

Type of Startup: Health Tech, Online Pharmacy.

Founders: Dharmil Sheth, Dhaval Shah, and Mikhil Innani.

Founded Date: 2015

Funding: Eight Roads Venture India, TPG Growth, Think Investments

Website: https://pharmeasy.in/

App: PharmEasy on Google Play Store

PharmEasy is a popular health tech startup offering health-related services across India. The company joined the unicorn club in 2021 with USD 1.5 billion valuations. It offers a wide variety of services including medicine deliveries, teleconsultation, and diagnostic test sample collections.

PharmEasy also functions as an online pharmacy by collaborating with various local pharmacies and clinics to fulfill their customer’s medical needs.

The platform also offers SaaS solutions to pharmacies willing to establish themselves online. In 2020, Pharmeasy merged with Medlife, a rival company to provide consolidated services. Currently, PharmEasy operates in more than 1000 cities in India.

This banner leads to the blog post which lists down top medicine delivery apps in India

4) Meesho

Meeshop is a B2B startup in India

Type of Startup: Social E-commerce

Founders: Sanjeev Barnwal and Vidit Aatrey.

Founded Date: 2015

Funding: Facebook, SoftBank Vision Fund, Prosus Ventures, etcetera.

Website: https://meesho.com/

App: Meesho on Google Play Store

Meesho is India’s first social e-commerce platform to secure a place in the unicorn club. It is an online reseller platform for individuals and small to medium businesses (SMBs). The sellers on Meesho try to sell their products through social channels like Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook.

The platform claims to have 100K registered suppliers across 4,800 cities in India. Also, it claims to work with 13 million-plus entrepreneurs. Meesho’s current competitors include younger companies like Dealshare, CityMall and GlowRoad.

5) Nykaa

This is the screenshot of Nykaa website. Nykaa is one of the prominent unicorn startups in India. It sells cosmetics products of worldwide brands on its platform

Type of Startup: E-commerce

Founder: Falguni Nayar

Founded Date: 2012

Funding: Fidelity Management and Research Company, Steadview Capital, TPG Growth, etcetera.

Website: https://www.nykaa.com/

App: Nykaa on Google Play Store

Nykaa, an Indian e-commerce platform for beauty and fashion products was launched back in 2012. After 8 years of hustle, Nykaa entered the unicorn club in 2020 with USD 1.2 billion valuations. Nykaa has an omnichannel presence with offline beauty and fashion stores operating across the country.

It also has a series of in-house brands namely Nykaa Naturals, Nykaa Cosmetics and Nykd Nykaa. The brand has also launched a beauty line with iconic designer Masaba Gupta known as Masaba by Nykaa.

6) Unacademy

Type of Startup: EdTech

Founders: Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh, Roman Saini, and Sachin Gupta

Founded Date: 2015

Funding: Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic, Steadview Capital, etcetera.

Website: https://unacademy.com/

App: Unacademy on Google Play Store

Unacademy, an Indian EdTech startup, joined the unicorn club in 2020 with USD 2 billion valuations. From IIT-JEE to CAT and UPSC, Unacademy offers coaching for the majority of the national and state-level entrance exams in the country.

Unacademy started as a YouTube channel to provide free educational content to Indian students. Later, in 2015, the company was established in Bangalore. Currently, the platform has a whopping network of 18000 plus educators all over India. Unacademy provides Live lectures to students having both free or paid subscriptions. In March 2021, Unacademy acquired a CAT preparation platform ‘Handa ka Funda’.

7) Razorpay

Type of Startup: FinTech

Founders: Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar.

Founded Date: 2014

Funding: Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital

Website: https://razorpay.com/

App: Razorpay on Google Play Store

Razorpay is a full-stack financial company with a USD 1 billion valuation and one of the leading unicorn startups in India in the fintech space.

Razorpay enables businesses to accept, process and disburse payments through its products suite. It gives access to the majority of payment modes including debit and credit cards, net banking, UPI, and many more. The company aims to revolutionize money management for online businesses through its services.

8) Zerodha

Type of Startup: FinTech

Founders: Nikhil Kamath and Nithin Kamath

Founded Date: 2010

Funding: Rainmatter

Website: https://zerodha.com/

App: Zerodha on Google Play Store

Zerodha, an Indian financial services firm worth USD 3 billion as of 2020. The company offers a wide range of financial services like retail and institutional broking, mutual funds, bonds, currency and commodities training, and many more.

As of 2021, Zerodha is the largest retail stockbroker in India with an active client base of 33,91,059.

In 2020, Zerodha invested INR 3.5 Crores in GoldenPi, an online bond and debentures platform through its Rainmatter fund.

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9) Dailyhunt

Type of Startup: IT and E-news

Founders: Umang Bedi, Umesh Kulkarni and Virendra Gupta

Founded Date: 2007

Funding: Google, Microsoft and Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave, OneIndia

Website: https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english

App: Dailyhunt on Google Play Store

Dailyhunt is a popular Indian news aggregator platform providing news pieces in almost 14 languages. It joined the unicorn list in 2020 with USD 1.2 billion valuations. The platform offers a plethora of books, magazines, and articles on a wide variety of topics.

In 2020, signed up as an Associate Sponsor for Dream11 IPL 2020 with Star Sports. Also, Dailyhunt launched a short-video app called Josh in an attempt to build a family of apps for India.

10) Postman

Type of Startup: Saas – API development and testing

Founders: Abhijit Kane, Abhinav Asthana, and Ankit Sobti

Founded Date: 2014

Funding: Nexus Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, etcetera.

Website: https://www.postman.com/

App: Postman on Google Chrome

Postman is an Indian collaboration platform for API development. The platform is operated by over 10 million developers and 500,000 companies worldwide. The company aims to simplify each step of API building through its unique services.

Postman joined the unicorn club in 2020 after crossing the 1 billion mark. As of 2021, the company is worth USD 2 billion.

11) Udaan

Type of Startup: B2B, E-commerce

Founders: Amod Malviya, Sujeet Kumar and Vaibhav Gupta

Founded Date: 2016

Funding: Octahedron Capital, Moonstone Capital, GGV Capital, etcetera.

Website: https://udaan.com/

App: Udaan on Google Play Store

Udaan is a B2B e-commerce platform with a valuation of USD 2.5 billion. The platform aims to solve core trading problems between wholesalers and retailers. It is willing to build a huge network of businesses and entrepreneurs.

Udaan is the country’s largest distribution network. Retailers can network and get products from suppliers and brands on Udaan. The company is also willing to give technical help to businesses and entrepreneurs through its various services.

12) OYO Rooms

Type of Startup: Hospitality

Founder: Ritesh Agarwal

Founded Date: 2012

Funding: Softbank Vision Fund, Hindustan Media Venture, Airbnb

Website: https://www.oyorooms.com/

App: OYO Rooms on Google Play Store

OYO Rooms is a leading Indian hospitality chain offering affordable hotels, homes and living spaces across the world. It has a whopping valuation of USD 8 billion. The Ritesh Agarwal-led startup claims to have created 1 lakh direct and indirect jobs in India. The company is incorporating skill training centres across India for hospitality training.

OYO Rooms is a global chain of hotels and functions in more than 80 countries. As per one source, OYO Rooms have 17,000 employees globally while 9000 out of them are from India alone.

13) BYJU’S

Type of Startup: EdTech

Founders: Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath

Founded Date: 2011

Funding: Aarin Capital, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Tencent, etcetera.

Website: https://byjus.com/

App: BYJU’S on Google Play Store

BYJU, India’s largest EdTech company, has a valuation of USD 8 billion. The company offers educational content for LKG-12 students. It also helps students to prepare for competitive exams like JEE, NEET, UPSC, etcetera.

‘BYJU’S-The Learning App’ is ruling the EdTech sphere in India with 80 million registered students and 5.5 million annual paid subscriptions. The app provides educational video content, live lectures, quizzes, and assessments for students in classes 4-12.

‘BYJU’S-The Early Learn App’ in collaboration with Disney provides educational content for children in classes 1-3.

In 2020, BYJU’S acquired White Hat Jr.- a startup aiming to teach students coding skills. Also, in 2021, BYJU’S acquired Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL)- a leading test preparation platform in India.

This image is the link to one of our blog post. It includes top learning apps for kids in India

14) Paytm

Type of Startup: E-commerce and Finance

Founders: Akshay Khanna and Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Founded Date: 2010

Funding: One97 Mobility Fund, Investopad, K2 Global

Website: https://paytm.com/

App: Paytm on Google Play Store

Paytm, a popular FinTech startup ranked at 13th position on Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020 with a valuation of USD 16 billion. The company joined the unicorn club back in 2015 with a valuation of USD 7 billion. Paytm is not only a leading Indian online payments company but also the most valued startup in India as of 2020.

Paytm is revolutionizing the Indian Fintech space through its intact services. Today, the company offers a wide range of services like mobile recharge, utility bill payments and many more.

15) Mu Sigma

Type of Startup: IT and Software

Founder: Dhiraj Rajaram

Founded Date: 2004

Funding: Mastercard, General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital

Website: https://www.mu-sigma.com/

Mu Sigma is a popular Indian data science firm. The company offers data analytics services to Fortune 500 companies. It became a unicorn startup back in 2013 after crossing the USD 1 billion worth mark.

Mu Sigma offers a wide range of services in marketing, customer segmentation, and optimization. It majorly serves companies in the domain of airline, hospitality, entertainment, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Mu Sigma annually employs more than 3000 data science professionals to cater to more than 140 Fortune 500 clients.

16) Dream11

Type of Startup: Fantasy Sports and IT

Founders: Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain

Founded Date: 2008

Funding: Tiger Global Management, TCV, Falcon Edge Capital, etcetera.

Website: https://www.dream11.com/

App: Dream 11 on Google Play Store

Dream 11 is India’s largest fantasy sports platform and the first gaming unicorn in India. Users can play numerous fantasy sports and gain points on Dream11. In 2019, Dream11 had more than 50 million users in India.

Dream11 gained popularity for its title sponsorship of the Indian Premier League 2020. Also, famous Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the official brand ambassador of Dream11 during IPL 2018. Dream11 only allows users above 18 years to participate in games.

17) Freshworks

Type of Startup: CRM, IT and SaaS

Founders: Girish Mathrubootham, Shan Krishnasamy and Vijay Shankar

Founded Date: 2010

Funding: Steadview Capital, Sequoia Capital, Accel, etcetera.

Website: https://www.freshworks.com/

App: Freshworks on Google Play Store

Freshworks is a software development company providing innovative software for businesses. As of 2020, Freshworks is worth USD 3.5 billion. Back in 2010, a company by the name ‘Freshdesk’ offering customer service software was established. Later, Freshdesk evolved to Freshworks.Inc on June 7, 2017.

Freshworks has crossed the $100 million mark in annual recurring revenue. The company has also launched Freddy, an AI engine, and Freshworks CRM for sales and marketing. In 2020, Freshworks acquired AnswerIQ.

18) Zomato

Type of Startup: Food Delivery and Restaurants

Founders: Deepinder Goyal, Gaurav Gupta and Pankaj Chaddah

Founded Date: 2008

Funding: Tiger Global Management, Bow Wave Capital Management, Kora, etcetera.

Website: https://www.zomato.com/akola

App: Zomato On Google Play Store

Zomato, a Gurgaon based online food delivery startup, is worth USD 3.5 billion as of 2020. It serves as an online restaurant guide and food delivery platform.

Zomato offers restaurant details, menus, and food delivery options to its customers. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Zomato has also been delivering groceries.

In 2020, Zomato acquired Uber Eats, a fellow food delivery platform.

19) Lenskart

Type of Startup: E-commerce and Eyewear

Founders: Amit Chaudhary and Piyush Bansal

Founded Date: 2010

Funding: SoftBank Vision Fund, Kedaara Capital and Equip Capital

Website: https://www.lenskart.com/

App: Lenskart on Google Play Store

Lenskart is an Indian Optical Eyewear retail chain with over 70 outlets in the country. Following Softbank’s Investment in Lenskart, the company’s worth reached USD 1.5 billion in 2019.

Lenskart offers high-quality spectacles and contact lenses from many brands at reasonable prices. The company is the first of its kind to deliver optical lenses onto the doorstep of the customers on a large scale. Lenskart offers over 500 designs and colours of spectacles along with a 3D trial.

20) Swiggy

Type of Startup: E-commerce and Food Delivery

Founders: Nandan Reddy, Rahul Jamini, and Sriharsha Majety.

Founded Date: 2014

Funding: Carmignac, Accel, and Falcon Edge Capital

Website: https://www.swiggy.com/

App: Swiggy on Google Play Store

Swiggy, an online food delivery startup, founded back in 2014 has a valuation of USD 3.5 billion. In 2019, Swiggy launched ‘Swiggy Stores’ for general product delivery. Also, ‘Swiggy Go’ was launched the same year for instant pick up and drop service.

As per one survey by Statista, Swiggy was the most popular food delivery app among Indians in 2020. Swiggy keeps on partnering with different brands to extend its reach. It has recently partnered with ICICI Bank to create a digital wallet known as ‘Swiggy Money’.

This banner takes you to blog post which includes list of top food delivery apps in India

21) Flipkart

Type of Startup: E-commerce

Founders: Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal

Founded Date: 2007

Funding: Tencent, Walmart, Tiger Global Management, etcetera.

Website: https://www.flipkart.com/

App: Flipkart on Google Play Store

Flipkart is a prominent Indian e-commerce platform. It offers a wide range of products delivered to every doorstep. After Walmart gained 77% of the stake, the company’s worth reached USD 20 billion in 2020.

The company tops India’s online smartphone market with a massive 48% share. Flipkart has several in-house brands like Citron, Digiflip, Smartbuy and MarQ. In 2020, Flipkart gained a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail for USD 204 million.

22) Billdesk

Type of Startup: FinTech

Founder: Ajay Kaushal

Founded Date: 2000

Funding: General Atlantic, Temasek Holdings, Clearstone Venture Partners, etcetera.

Website: https://www.billdesk.com/

Billdesk is one of the oldest online payment companies in India. It is working to make electronic payment easier for its customers. In 2015, the company was valued at USD 1 billion.

Billdesk is a financially independent company monitored by The Reserve Bank of India. The company aims to give customers a smooth and secure online bill payment experience.

23) Eruditus

Type of Startup: EdTech

Founders: Ashwin Damera and Chaitanya Kalipatnapu

Founded Date: 2005

Funding: Accel US, SoftBank

Website: https://www.eruditus.com

App: Eruditus on Google play store

Eruditus is India’s fastest-growing and most famous educational platform. It is a Mumbai- based company founded in 2005.

Over the years it has collaborated with over 130 universities across the world to offer more than 100 executive-level courses.

If you are a student, this is a must-have app for you. It can help you connect with some of the experts in the field of management, technology, and leadership around the world. The experts are usually the alums of institutions like Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, University of California – Berkeley, and INSEAD.

The company has recently raised $650 million from Accel US and Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund II. This makes it the 23rd unicorn in India and the 4th ed-tech firm joining Unacademy, Byju’s, and upGrad

Bottom Line

The above list of unicorn startups in India has one thing in common. A great idea backed by immediate actions. The constant hustle to get things done and keep growing. All these unicorn startups in India have redefined their industry trends and set a new benchmark.

However, not all startups can be unicorns. But guess what, with a great idea and the right direction, your startup could be the next unicorn in making. It is important to start and take action today. Finding the most effective growth strategies for startups? We can help you out! From tech to search engine marketing, avail a startup consulting service with Eiosys and take your business to a next level!

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