India overtakes UK to emerge with third highest number of unicorns in 2021

India’s unicorn list was headed by edtech platform Byju’s with a valuation of $21 billion.
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India has overtaken the UK to come in third place for most unicorns added in the year 2021 at 54, led by edtech platform Byju’s with a valuation of $21 billion, mobile ad-tech firm InMobi worth $12 billion, and hotel platform OYO Rooms worth $9.5 billion. This represents an increase of 33 from last year, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2021. Bengaluru features seventh in the list as the city with the most number of unicorns in the world with 28 unicorns. Other Indian cities on the list include Gurugram and Mumbai.

Indians founded 119 unicorns, of which 65 are outside of India and 54 are in India. Of those founded abroad, significantly all are in the USA, led by the Bay Area, with two in each of the UK and Singapore, and one in each of Germany and Mexico.

The year 2021 has emerged as the most successful year in history for unicorns, it said, with 1,058 unicorns in the world, almost double the 586 of last year. According to the Hurun Global Index, the USA had 487 unicorns, up 254; China was second with 301 unicorns, up 74. Between them, the USA and China have 74% of the world’s unicorns.

Tiktok owner ByteDance has surged to become the most valuable unicorn in the world worth $350 billion. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has broken into the top three with a $100 billion valuation to become the most valuable unicorn in the USA. San Francisco overtook Beijing to become the world’s unicorn capital.

Fintech led with 139 unicorns, followed by SAAS (Software-as-a-Service) with 134 and e-commerce 122. Others include Artificial Intelligence 84, Healthtech 80, Cyber security 40 and Biotech 31. Sequoia Capital emerged as the world’s most successful unicorn investor for the second year, investing into one in five of the world’s unicorns.

Anas Rahman Junaid MD and Chief Researcher, Hurun India said: “India is in the midst of a start-up boom, more than doubling its unicorns to take the country’s official tally of unicorns to 54, and overtake the UK to third place in the world. Whilst there are a further 65 unicorns founded by Indians abroad, mainly in Silicon Valley, the percentage of homegrown unicorns has increased from one third to 45%, suggesting that the start-up ecosystem in India is maturing.”

Hurun Research identified 673 new unicorns in 38 countries. The USA added 347, followed by China with 146 and India with 41. The vast majority of the investors are headquartered in the USA with 79, followed by China with 11. Singapore and the UK each had 2, with France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan and Russia with one each.

Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher, Rupert Hoogewerf said: “The Global Unicorn Index 2021 is designed to highlight the world’s most successful start-ups. These unicorns are leading a new generation of disruptive technology, especially in business management solutions and financial services, and attracting the world’s top young talent.”

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