Nothing fuels budding entrepreneurs and start-ups more than acquiring the status of a Unicorn – startups valued at over $1 Billion.
Most of the startups reaching the Unicorn status are located in US and China. India, however, is gradually catching up with startups, numbered now in double-digit, who are becoming Unicorns.
The latest addition to the list is Swiggy, who at $1.2 Billion valuations has raised $210 million from DST and Naspers, today. Swiggy, founded in August 2014, took 3 years and 10 months to become the coveted Unicorn.
Swiggy becomes the third firm to reach unicorn status this year. The other two are Paytm Mall and BYJU.
In April this year, the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-backed e-commerce venture turned into a Unicorn after raising $445 million from Softbank and Alibaba to be valued at $1.9 Billion. It was the fastest, in less than two years of its existence, to acquire the exciting Unicorn status.
Apart from these two, India has 15 tech Unicorns – Flipkart, Paytm, Ola, InMobi, Byju, Infibeam, Info Edge, Justdial, Makemytrip, Zomato, MuSigma, Quikr, Shopclues, Hike and Snapdeal.
Last year, only Infibeam acquired the status of Unicorn. In 2016, three tech startups- Paytm, Hike along with Shopclues had valuations which crossed $1 Billion. According to a VCCircle report, Snapdeal, as well as Flipkart and Info Edge, had become Unicorns in 2014.
In the last few years, investors have shown an unprecedented faith in startups. While investors are putting caps on the fund that goes out to established players, they are still betting on the emerging ventures.
In 2017 alone, a record $13.7 billion was invested into the Indian startup ecosystem across 820 deals. The value of investments was significantly higher, as compared to 2016 and 2015 when funding was at $4.06 billion and $8.4 billion, respectively.
Meanwhile, this year, owing to an increase of 20 per cent in funding deals as per the QoQ trend, the ecosystem might witness some new additions.
There still as are startups, who are at the edge of breaking into the desirable Unicorn club. Practo, Delhivery, Rivigo, Freshworks, Blackbuck, Oyo and Bigbasket are startups who are next in line.
In the Indian startup ecosystem, every startup can dream to become a Unicorn. The dream, however, becomes a reality for entrepreneurs who are capable of building products that provide solutions to real-world problems.