World news – Historic boom for India Tech as six startups become unicorns in four days


It’s been a historic week for the Indian tech industry. Within four days, the country coined at least six new startups valued at $ 1 billion or more – what tech geeks call unicorns because they are said to be such rarities.

On a rough scale: The investment platform Groww raised money with one Valued at more than $ 1 billion, messaging bot startup Gupshup reached $ 1.4 billion, digital pharmacy API Holdings Pvt. Ltd. App developer Mohalla Tech topped $ 2.1 billion, social commerce startup Meesho Inc. reached $ 2.1 billion, and financial technology provider Cred rounded off the unicorns’ blessing with $ 2.2 billion .

According to market researcher CB Insights, India had a total of seven new unicorns in 2020. There were six in 2019.

Global investors such as the Japanese SoftBank Group Corp. and the South African Naspers Ltd. see growing opportunities in the country’s startup scene. The country of 1.3 billion people has seen the rapid adoption of smartphones, the explosive growth of low-cost internet services and a new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs in recent years. « Big funds like Naspers, SoftBank and Tiger Global have to invest a lot of capital , and these startups are now at the top of their list, « said PN Sudarshan, partner at Deloitte.

India has long lagged the US and China in terms of venture capital invested in startups. The total value of transactions in 2020 was $ 11.8 billion, compared to $ 143 billion in the US and $ 83 billion in China, according to researcher Preqin.

However, there have been several recently Startups emerged to signal the potential of the South Asian country. Digital payments giant Paytm was valued at $ 16 billion, making it the most valuable in the country, according to CB Insights. Online education startup Byju’s is racing $ 15 billion worth of money, Bloomberg News reported last week.

Flipkart, the e-commerce giant acquired by Walmart Inc. in 2018, is heading for the fourth The company launched an initial public offering in the third quarter that could value the company at more than $ 35 billion.

The venture investments help diversify India’s industry, which has long served technology services companies like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Infosys Ltd. is known. A report by Credit Suisse Group AG last month found that there are approximately 100 unicorns in India with a combined market value of $ 240 billion in sectors ranging from e-commerce and fintech to education, logistics and grocery delivery.

« India’s corporate landscape has been radically transformed due to a remarkable confluence of changes in the country’s financing, regulatory and business environments over the past two decades, » the report said. « An unprecedented pace of new business creation and innovation in a variety of sectors has resulted in an increase in the number of highly valued, unlisted companies. »

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the adoption of online technology in India accelerated, maybe even more than in other countries. More than 1,600 new startups were created during last year’s coronavirus pandemic and strict bans, bringing the total to over 12,500, according to a January report from Nasscom, the nation’s technology industry trade association.

More than 55 of these are potential unicorns, the report says, what the venture industry calls « soonicorns. » As in Silicon Valley, executives who have experience with leading startups like Flipkart and Paytm are breaking out to start their own businesses, and entrepreneurs who have had successful exits turn to their second or third startups.

 » The surge in funding and unicorn breeding comes as no surprise as India has the third largest startup ecosystem in the world and the third largest market for such startups, « said Pranav Pai, Managing Partner at 3one4 Capital Advisors LLP.

Pai said , he knows at least six new unicorns that will be minted in the next few months. While $ 20 million rounds were notable five years ago, startups scale very quickly and now increase $ 100 million to $ 200 million rounds, he said.

« The difference is that we don’t just come across a high quality startup , but now eight to ten every month, « said the venture capitalist, whose former fund Arin Capital supported the edtech startup Byju’s and the newly minted unicorn of the e-pharmacy. PharmEasy.

Many investors will see their previous bets come full circle as a dozen Indian startups prepare to hit the public markets later this year or early next year.

« Such Exits will further build investor confidence, increase liquidity and spark a new funding frenzy, « said Sudarshan.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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