Unicorns and decacorns in India: the startup funding boom

By Raghu Marwah and Varun Verma, RNM Capital Advisors

India has emerged as the third largest global ecosystem for startups after the US and China, with about 60,000 startups across the country. These startups not only are developing innovative solutions and technologies, but are continuously generating largescale employment opportunities. India is also the third-largest “unicorn” hub with 90 unicorns companies, only behind the US which boasts 487 unicorns, and China with 301 unicorns, and ahead of the UK which has 39 unicorn companies. “Unicorn” is a term used in the venture capital world to describe a privately held startup company with a value of over USD 1 billion.

Indian startups raised more than USD 42 billion across 1,583 deals in 2021, which exceeded the total funds they raised in the last three years combined. Unicorn startups in India are solving problems in the local market, and have global ambitions. In 2022, there have been eight new additions to the “unicorn” club already, including companies like Fractal Analytics, LEAD School, Darwinbox, DealShare, Polygon, ElasticRun, Livspace, and Xpressbees. On the other hand, Flipkart is currently the most valuable decacorn (a “decacorn” is a relatively new company worth at least USD 10 billion), worth USD 37.6 billion after raising USD 3.6 billion in July 2021. Other decacorns to emerge out of India are BYJU’s, with recent funding of USD 4.5 billion, and a current valuation of USD 21 billion; OYO Rooms, currently valued at USD10 billion; and food delivery giant Swiggy is the fourth startup in India to become a decacorn after it raised USD 700 million, in a round led by Invesco, to command USD 10.7 billion.

As of February 2022, India is home to 90 unicorns with a total valuation of USD 298.69 billion. Out of these 90 unicorns, 44 unicorn startups were launched in 2021, and 8 unicorns started in 2022. However, this is not the end. The months ahead in 2022 are likely to see another unicorn boom in India. There are at least 15 very promising soonicorns (startups with the growth potential of soon becoming a unicorn) in India that may join the unicorn club in 2022.


 

Raghu Marwah

Raghu Marwah

GCG member firm
RNM Capital Advisors
Corporate Finance
New Delhi, India
T: +91 11 4319 2000
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: rnmcapitaladvisors.com

Established in 2009, RNM Capital Advisors (“RNM”) is a mid-market focused boutique investment banking firm. RNM provides advisory services to its clients across sectors and geographies in the area of mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures/collaborations, fund mobilisation, restructuring & turnaround, valuations, due diligence, India entry, family office, alternative investments and other allied corporate finance matters.

Raghu Marwah, a qualified Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics), joined the RNM team after having gained experience at one of the Big4 firms. He specialises in advising and rendering consultancy services to clients in relation to structuring strategic investments, offshore structuring, crossborder holdings, M&A, and valuations.
Varun Verma

Varun Verma

GCG member firm
RNM Capital Advisors
Corporate Finance
New Delhi, India
T: +91 11 4319 2000
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: rnmcapitaladvisors.com

Varun Verma is a rank-holding Chartered Accountant from ICAI (akin to US CPA) and a CFA Charter-holder from CFA Institute, USA. He brings over sixteen years of rich experience in areas of mergers and acquisitions, fund mobilisation, private equity, real estate, valuations and asset management.
 


Published: M & A Newsletter, No. 02 Spring 2022 l Photo: oneinchpunch - stock.adobe.com

Ggi Logo 150x109px

GGI Global Alliance AG

Sihlbruggstrasse 140
6340 Baar
Switzerland

Contact

T: +41 41 7252500
F: +41 41 7252501
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ggi.com