Of the list of 1,103 individuals with a minimum of ₹1,000 crore wealth each, a total of 65 founders of 37 unicorns made it to this year's IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2022. The total wealth contributed by the Indian unicorn and gazelle listers to the rich list increased by 35% to ₹3.1 lakh crore this year.

"There are 65 founders of 37 unicorns, along with 14 professional managers, who have emerged as the cornerstone of wealth creation this time in the list,” says the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2022.

Among these, there are 16 fintech unicorns and 17 entrants who have made it to the list. India has the highest fintech adoption rate and the fastest growing fintech market in the world. "80 million Indians made their first digital transaction after 2020 and 190 million are still unbanked- makes it the breeding ground for new wealth creation,” says the IIFL Hurun report.

The rise of Indian unicorns shows the future and potential for exponential wealth creation in India. The country is ranked third, in terms of the number of unicorns featured in the list at 87. India also has the third-highest number of unicorns and gazelles in the world after the U.S. and China.

“India’s bench strength or the pipeline of entrepreneurs can be understood best from the start-up ecosystem, which is the third largest in the world, with more than 80,000 start-ups," the report adds.

Meanwhile, the rich list contains 100 entrants, from 59 start-ups and going forward, the share of start-ups is likely to increase manifold. "For instance, the youngest ten years ago was 37, last year was 23 and this year is 19,” the report adds.

For the first time, 100 startup founders, with a total wealth of ₹5.06 lakh crore and an average age of 40, feature in the list. A record 735 entrepreneurs or 67% are self-made in the list, up from 659 last year and up from 54% five years ago. A total of 13 people born in the 90s made it to the rich list, all of them are self-made.

Alakh Pandey and his co-founder Prateek Boob debuted on the list and ranked at 399th position, with a wealth of ₹4,000 crore on the back of their startup Physics Wallah turning unicorn.

Thanks to the government policies and venture capital (VC) funding boost, the number of recognised startups in the country increased from 471 in 2016 to 72,993 in 2022, a massive 15,400% rise, according to government data. However, the sector, of late, is facing rough days amid global supply chain disruptions, causing a fund crunch as Indian startups rely heavily on external funding.

India added its 100th startup to the unicorn club in 2022, and the country now has a total of 107 startup unicorns (startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more). In H1 2022, India added 14 new unicorns, way more than 11 by China but less than the US at 138.

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