While we were growing up, unicorns might have been quite a rare sighting. But as far as the Indian startup ecosystem is concerned, unicorns are something that you can spot every once in a while. In the past few years, India has seen a surge in unicorn startups, and as of 2023, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
In fact, even though the flow of funding to the startup sector is drying up, the unicorns still remain. Value is always recognised as an asset, and high quality startups are still getting funding.
How many unicorns are there in India 2023?
According to Business Today, India currently has 115 unicorns, with a cumulative valuation of over $350 billion.
One of the main drivers of the unicorn boom in India is the growing middle class. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, there is a vast market for innovative startups to tap into. Apart from that, the government has also taken steps like the Startup India initiative to support the startup ecosystem.
Some of the most notable unicorns in India include Paytm, Ola, Zomato, and Byju’s, as well as newer companies like Nykaa and Delhivery. Byju’s is currently the highest-valued edtech company in the world, with a valuation of $23 billion as of February 2023. These companies have shown impressive growth and have attracted significant investments from both domestic and international investors.
The coronavirus pandemic also had a role in the rise of unicorns in India.
As more and more people sifted to work from home, the demand for digital solutions exploded like never before. Many startups took advantage of this market opportunity and scaled up their operations. For example, edtech startups like Byju’s and Unacademy have seen a surge in users as students adapt to online learning.
In 2023, 23 startups have already entered the unicorn club in spite of a funding winter. Molbio Diagnostics, Tata 1mg, ShipRocket, 5ire and OneCard took the first five places. Apart from that, the list also included Cars24, Cred, and Pine Labs, among others.
“Interestingly, only one out of the top five unicorns attained profitability in the year. Alakh Pandey’s Physicswallah was one of them. Oxyzo, Amagi and CoinSwitch are other unicorns that continued to make profits in the country.” — Outlook India
The Road Ahead
The unicorn boom in India shows no signs of slowing down in 2023. We are just starting to realise the potential of our growing economy. Innovation and the spirit of new business is around every corner.
As more and more companies enter the unicorn club, it will be exciting to see how they disrupt traditional industries and shape the future of the Indian economy.