With 18 startups on the list, FinTech contributed the most number of companies, followed by E-commerce 17 and SaaS 7, as per the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021.

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Atom Startups Friday, September 03, 2021 - 19:21

Bengaluru, with 32 startups has emerged as the startup capital of India followed by Delhi NCR (18) and Mumbai (13). And India has added a record number of around three unicorns every month over the last year and is now home to 51 unicorns in 2021. This, according to the Hurun Research Institute, which on Thursday, September 2, released the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021, a ranking of India's startups founded in the 2000s, which have not yet been listed on the stock exchange.

India now has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world behind the USA (396) and China (277). India’s unicorns are now worth $168 billion, more than the GDP of Telangana at current prices, as per the list. India is also home to 32 gazelles and 54 cheetahs. Hurun Report defines ‘Gazelle’ as a startup founded after the year 2000 and has the potential to go unicorn in 2 years and have a valuation ranging from $500 million to $1 billion, while the ‘Cheetahs’ have an estimated valuation ranging from $200 million to $500 million and are likely to turn unicorn in 4 years. 

Singapore-headquartered online retail store Zilingo is the most valuable gazelle. In 2015, Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor started Zilingo, an online B2B platform for small fashion merchants. Zilingo has raised a total investment of $310 million to date and is backed by marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Beenext, EDB Investments, and others.

Gaming company Mobile Premier League takes the second spot on the list. The Bengaluru-based startup was founded by Sai Srinivas Kiran and Shubham Malhotra in 2018 and has 76 million users in India. It raised a total investment of $230 million from eminent investors such as Sequoia Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, SIG, Pegasus Tech Ventures, Founders Circle and others. In April 2021, it acquired GamingMonk for an undisclosed amount to widen its esports portfolio.

Some of the other companies likely to become unicorns as per the list are Rebel Foods, Cure.Fit, Spinny, Mamaearth, CarDekho among others. With 18 startups on the list, FinTech contributed the most number of companies in the list, followed by E-commerce 17 and SaaS (Software as a Service) 7. Together, these three domains comprise 49% of the Hurun India Future unicorn List 2021. EdTech, Gaming, Logistics and Artificial Intelligence are the other promising sectors in the Indian startup ecosystem.

Pepperfry is the topmost cheetah on the list with a total funding of $250 million, followed by DealShare and Mswipe Technologies. Some of the other companies on the list include NoBroker, FarEye, Ixigo, Freshtohome, Ather Energy, Dunzo among others. 

The average age of founders in the list was 39 years, and at 25 years of age the founders of gaming startup Zupee, Dilsher Singh and Siddhant Saurabh are the youngest on the list. Further, most of the founders of the startups featured in Hurun Future unicorn List graduated/ post-graduated from either IIT Delhi or IIM Ahmedabad. 

A total of 12 startups on the Hurun India Future unicorn List 2021 are co-founded by women entrepreneurs, which includes five gazelles and seven cheetahs. Likewise, six women entrepreneurs co-founded unicorn startups in India.

“Preparing the Hurun India Future unicorn List 2021 has been one of the most daunting tasks, primarily due to the positive hyperactivity in Indian startup ecosystems. For instance, 5 startups that we had as Cheetahs at the beginning of our research, jumped straight to unicorn valuations. The list has inputs from India’s startup investor ecosystem including some of the top VC funds and hence could serve as a good source for investors and family offices to understand more some of the most exciting startups in the country,” said Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher, Hurun India.

“2021 also registered startup IPOs, starting with Nazaara Tech, followed by Zomato and others who have filed including Paytm, Freshworks, Nykaa and so on. IPOs present exit opportunities for investors and encourage more Indian High Networth Individuals to allocate a meaningful portion of their investment into startups,” he added.  

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