India, the third-largest in the world in the number of unicorns, will have 122 unicorns in the next two to four years, says a report by Hurun India.
The ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022, a ranking of India’s start-ups founded in the 2000s, shows in the first half of 2022, India has given birth to 20 unicorns with a total valuation of $26 billion. Also, India’s future unicorns are currently worth $49 billion, with an increase of 36% as compared to the last year.
The index measures the most valuable private equity or venture capital-funded companies in India founded after 2000 and ranks as per their latest funding round valuation.
The report claims India has a total of 84 unicorns, 51 gazelles (start-ups that are most likely to go unicorn in the next two years), and 71 cheetahs (start-ups that could go unicorn in the next four years) against 51 unicorns, 32 gazelles, and 54 cheetahs in the 2021 index. However, as per the latest available data, India has a total of 104 unicorns.
According to official government data, India is home to over 69,000 start-ups (2nd May 2022).
The ASK-Hurun report says these future unicorns, on average, were set up in 2015, with the vast majority selling software and services, and only 17% selling physical products. 37% sell to businesses, while 63% are consumer-facing. “Future unicorns were seen disrupting financial services, logistics, healthcare and education,” the index shows.
Rajesh Saluja, CEO and MD, ASK Wealth Advisors Pvt Ltd says India has emerged as the third-largest ecosystem for start-ups after the U.S. and China and saw a record 44 start-ups turning Unicorns in 2021. Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and chief researcher, Hurun India, says the start-up ecosystem in the country is growing at a never-before pace. “In just one year, the number of unicorns in the country has grown by 65%, the number of gazelles has grown by 59% to 51, and the number of cheetahs has grown by 31% to 71. Probably, the pandemic has hastened the disruption of traditional businesses and helped in the ascendancy of the start-ups.”
Other findings of the index are: 17 gazelles and 7 cheetahs from the last year’s index hit the unicorn valuation this year. Seven cheetahs from last year’s index “skipped” the gazelle stage and directly entered the unicorn club.
Logistics tech start-up Shiprocket has been named the most valuable gazelle. Online furniture platform Pepperfry and payment infrastructure start-up Juspay have been considered the most valuable cheetahs. In terms of start-up hubs, Bengaluru continues to be the start-up capital of India. The city is home to 46 probable unicorns and is followed by Delhi NCR (25) and Mumbai (16).
Interestingly, a total of 21 Indian future unicorns have overseas headquarters, 18 of which are in the U.S., two in Singapore, and one in the U.K. The index is mostly dominated by e-commerce, fintech, and SaaS companies, while financial services, logistics, healthcare, and education are the sectors disrupted most by the future unicorns.
Having invested in 39 probable unicorns, Sequoia is found to be the most active investor, followed by Tiger Global with stakes in 27 future unicorns.
Companies that have been featured in the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022 employ more than 82,300 people. Among all the unicorns co-founders, 19-year-old Kaivalya Vohra, the co-founder of quick commerce start-up Zepto, is the youngest co-founder in the index.
Another interesting observation that can be derived from the index is that the Indian Institute of Technology (90) and the Indian Institute of Management (32) top the index of institutes that produce successful start-up founders.