India Mints 33 Unicorns In 'Best-Ever' Year For Startups Globally
As many as 33 Indian startups attained unicorn status in 2021, when Covid-19-induced lockdowns and stricter work-from-home policies drove digital adoption.
According to Hurun's Global Unicorn Index 2021, India's total unicorn tally reached 54, overtaking the U.K. to become the country with the third-largest number of unicorns—or startups with valuation of $1 billion or more—in the world. Only the U.S. and China are home to more.
Online educator Byju's at $21 billion, was India's most-valued startup according to the ranking, followed by the mobile adtech firm InMobi at $12 billion and hotel aggregator OYO Rooms at $9.5 billion.
Besides, Indians outside of India founded as many as 65 such startups that attained the coveted $1-billion valuation mark.
The startup ecosystem, BloombergQuint reported in April, was flush with funding this year, led by lockdown-induced needs that fuelled tech startups and pent-up demand. According to Credit Suisse's 2020-end report "Dry powder", that was around $2.1 trillion.
“India's in the midst of a startup boom, more than doubling its unicorns," Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher at Hurun India, said. "The percentage of homegrown unicorns has increased from one third to 45%, suggesting that the startup ecosystem in India is maturing."
'2021 Most Successful Year For Startups'
The year gone by saw the global unicorn tally almost double to 1,058—from last year's 586.
The USA led with 487 unicorns, up from last year's 254; followed by China on 301, up from 74. Together, they accounted for 74% of the world’s unicorns. The report also said there were large economies like Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Poland in the list of 160 countries without a single known unicorn.
As many as 13 countries officially produced unicorns for the first time, led by Mexico, Holland, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey, U.A.E. and Vietnam.
Falling prey to China's regulatory crackdown and its failed initial public offering, Jack Ma-founded Ant Group lost the crown of the world's most valuable unicorn to its fellow Chinese startup ByteDance, as its valuation surged to $350 billion.
The year also saw Elon Musk's SpaceX break into the top three unicorns in the world. The space exploration company has raised a mammoth $6.6 billion in 51 funding rounds, with the latest one valuing the unicorn at $100 billion.
Key Highlights From The Report
Total value of all known unicorns in the world doubled to $3.7 trillion.
San Francisco overtook Beijing to become world's unicorn capital. New York overtook Shanghai to third place, followed by Shenzhen.
Business management solutions, financial services and retail sectors are most disrupted by unicorns, followed by healthcare, logistics, cyber security, transportation and consumer electronics.
Fintech led with 139 unicorns, followed by software as a service at 134 and e-commerce at 122. Others include artificial intelligence (84), healthtech (80), cyber security (40) and biotech (31).
Sequoia Capital turned out to be the most successful unicorn investor for the second year in a row, investing into one in five of the world's unicorns. Tiger Fund overtook Softbank for the second place.
Average age of unicorns is eight years, implying most were found in and around 2013. However, 68 unicorns were founded within three years.