Successful Indian Startups with Unicorn Status

Successful Indian Startups with Unicorn Status


Unicorn status is a term 1st coined by speculator Aileen Lee in 2013. The term is utilized in the capital trade to explain a start-up company with a worth of over $1 billion. Some well-liked international unicorns are SpaceX, Robinhood, and Instacart.


  1. Make a simple solution to an existing problem.
  2. Build a strong and high market value proposition.
  3. Make a plan to have a clear vision for the future of the company and the products and services they offer.
  4. Unicorn companies have potential beta testers and customers


In India, many companies attained unicorn start-ups from 2012 till today, Like,

  1. InMobi
  2. Flipkart
  3. Snapdeal
  4. Ola
  5. Paytm
  6. Zomato
  7. Shopclues
  8. Hike
  9. Byjus classes
  10. Oyo
  11. Dream 11
  12. Big Basket
  13. Uacademy
  14. CRED
  15. Urban company
  16. First cry
  17. Pharmeasy
  1. InMobi
InMobi is an Indian multinational mobile advertising technology company, based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The company was founded in 2007 under the name mKhoj by Naveen Tewari, Mohit Saxena, Amit Gupta, and Abhay Singhal. In 2008, it had been increased from SMS-based services to mobile advertising and rebranded as InMobi. In 2011, InMobi became the first Indian unicorn startup company. InMobi has raised a total of US$215.6 million in three rounds of funding – US$0.5 million in 2007, US$7.1 million in Series A funding in 2008, US$8 million in Series B funding in 2010, US$200 million in Series C funding in 2011.
  1. Flipkart
  • FOUNDER: Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal
  • BASED IN: Bangalore
  • SECTOR: E-commerce
  • VALUATION: $1.5 Billion
Flipkart was supported in Oct 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology metropolis and former Amazon staff. In 2010, Flipkart acquired the Bangalore-based social book discovery service WeRead from Flipkart joined a unicorn startup in 2012. Flipkart India revenue up 12% in the financial year 2020 even as losses drop 18%. Walmart-owned e-commerce major Flipkart has rumored a revenue of ₹34,610 large integers for the fiscal year 2019-2020. This can be a rise of 12% system from ₹30,931 large integer within the previous year 2018-2019.
  1. Snapdeal
FOUNDER: Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal
  • BASED IN: Delhi
  • SECTOR: E-commerce
  • VALUATION: $24.9 Billion
Snapdeal was founded on 4 February 2010 as a daily deals platform and expanded in September 2011 to become an online marketplace. Snapdeal’s focus is on the worth e-commerce section. The market that’s 3 times larger than the scale of the branded product market. Snapdeal joined a unicorn startup in 2014. The company is backed by Kalaari Capital, Nexus Ventures, Bessemer, SoftBank, Alibaba venture. It became the second-biggest e-commerce company in the country, with a market valuation of $6.5 billion. In the 2019-20 fiscal year Snapdeal revenue is Rs. 846.4 crores.
  1. Ola
  • FOUNDER: Bhavesh Agrawal and Ankit Bhati
  • BASED IN: Bangalore
  • SECTOR: Ride-Hailing
  • VALUATION: $6.7 Billion
Ola was founded by Bhavesh Agrawal and Ankit Bhati in 2010.OlaCabs has become the largest network of personal transportation options within India and has emerged as the most popular choice for many consumers in 22 Indian cities. As of October 2019, Ola was valued at about US$6.5 billion A variety of venture capitalists like Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, Steadview, SoftBank, Tencent have large stakes in the company. In January 2018, Ola extended into its first overseas market, Australia, and in New Zealand in September 2018. In March 2019, Ola began its UK operations introducing auto-rickshaws in the UK-.
  1. Paytm
FOUNDER: Vijay Shekhar Sharma 
  • BASED IN: Noida
  • SECTOR: Payments
  • VALUATION: $16 Billion
Paytm, founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in 2010. Its worth value was $16 billion. Paytm joined the unicorn startup in 2015. With a valuation of over $7 billion in 2015, which has since up to $16 billion in 2020. Paytm is currently obtainable in 11 Indian languages and provides online services as mobile recharges, utility bill payments, travel, movie, and event bookings. Also, in-store payments victimization the Paytm QR code at grocery stores, restaurants, parking, tolls, pharmacies, and academic establishments.
  1. Zomato FOUNDER: Pankaj Chaddahand Deepinder Goyal
  • BASED IN: Gurgaon
  • SECTOR: FoodTech
  • VALUATION: $5.4 Billion
Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal founded Zomato in 2008 as a food delivery service in India. Zomato purchased Uber Eats’ Indian company in an all-stock deal on January 21, 2020, offering Uber Eats 10% of the combined business. Zomato joined a unicorn startup in 2015. Info Edge, Sequoia Capital, Vy Capital, Alibaba are the investor of the company. Zomato offers building content, menus, and user feedback, still as food delivery from partner restaurants in an exceedingly few cities.
  1. Shopclues
ShopClues is an Indian online marketplace company. It is owned by Clues Network Pvt. Ltd. based in Gurgaon, India. The company was established in July 2011 by Sanjay Sethi, Sandeep Aggarwal, and Radhika Aggarwal. In January 2016, ShopClues became India’s 4th unicorn firm valued over a billion dollars at $1.1 billion. But in less than 4 years, it has gone from an early unicorn to an outcast, having held merger discussions with every e-commerce firm in the country and outside. Finally selling the business at a 90% discount to its peak valuation. While the deal still hasn’t closed, with documentation and board approval pending. It appears that ShopClues will fetch a valuation of $80 million. Nexus Ventures, Helion Ventures, Beenos, Tiger Global, Others are the investors of the company.
  1. Hike
  • FOUNDER: Kavin Bharti Mittal
  • BASED IN: Gurgaon
  • SECTOR: Messaging
  • VALUATION: $1.4 Billion
In 2016, India promoted Hike. It is joined the unicorn club by raising $175 million. The company’s value at a vast $1.4 billion. Kavin Bharti Mittal is a founder of Hike. He aiming to be a super app and launched a payment platform. The company was not able to compete with WhatsApp when it came to its user base. It is a joint unicorn startup in 2016.  Where in 2016, Jio was launched and India became online. WhatsApp’s mass appeal increased while Hike remained a niche app. Finally, in January 2021, Mittal tweeted that the sun would set on Hike Sticker Chat and the focus would shift towards Vibe and Rush apps. Tiger Global, Tencent, Foxconn are the investors of the company.
  1. Byjus classes
  • FOUNDER: Byju Raveendran, Divya Gokulnath
  • BASED IN: Bangalore
  • SECTOR: EdTech
  • VALUATION: $16.5 Billion
Byju’s was started in 2011 by Byju Raveendran, Divya Gokulnath and run on a freemium model. It is used by more than 15 million students across the globe. Also, it has over 9,00,000 paid subscribers. BYJU’S learning programs are started for students in grades LKG through 12 as well as students studying. As well, it helps in competitive exams such as JEE, NEET, UPSC, and bank exams. Byju’s joint unicorn startup in 2018. Aarin Capital, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Tencent, General Atlantic, Tiger Global are investors of the company.
  1. Oyo
  • FOUNDER: Ritesh Agrawal
  • BASED IN: Gurgaon
  • SECTOR: Budget Hotels
  • VALUATION: $8.4 Billion
Oyo is founded by 21-year-old Ritesh Agarwal in 2013. It is India’s largest hospitality startup comprising budget hotels. The startup works with existing hotels and offers travelers vacant rooms at a low-cost price. Besides bulk renting hotels, they have invested in their properties as well. It is the country’s largest budget hotel chain with about 1 million rooms in 23,000 hotels all over India. They don’t own hotels. They tie up with certain hotels and acquires some rooms to be giving out to people who want to avail themselves of OYO services. It is a very successful venture as it has managed to solve the issue of affordability, cleanliness, and availability of budget hotels across all Tier-I and Tier-II cities in the country. It is one of the most funded players in its space with Sequoia Capital and Softbank funding.
  1. Dream 11
FOUNDER: Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain BASED IN: Mumbai SECTOR: Gaming VALUATION: $5 Billion ENTRY IN UNICORN STARTUP:2019 Dream11 is an Indian fantasy sports platform that allows users to play fantasy cricket, hockey, football, kabaddi, and basketball. Dream11 was founded by Harsh Jain & Bhavit Sheth in 2008. In 2014, the company reported 1 million registered users, which grew to 2 million in 2016 and 45 million in 2018. April 2019, Dream11 became the first Indian gaming company to become a unicorn. April 2019, Steadview Capital completed a secondary investment in Dream11. Apart from Steadview, Dream11’s investors included Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity, and Tencent.
  1. Big Basket
  • FOUNDER: Hari Menon; S. SudhakarVipul Parekh; Abhinayss Choudhary; V.S. Ramesh
  • BASED IN: Bangalore
  • SECTOR: Groceries
  • VALUATION: $2 Billion
BigBasket is India’s largest online grocer which was founded by Hari Menon V.S. Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhary, and V.S.Ramesh.Big basket also launched 3 new businesses BB Daily, BB Instant, and BB Beauty. It is an online grocery delivery service based in India. Customers are mainly served with supermarket items found in convenience stores, household essentials, and food supplies. BigBasket was founded in December 2011 and is based in Bangalore, India. BigBasket received a $150 million investment from Mirae, Alibaba Group, and CDC Group in March 2019, valuing the firm at over $1 billion. Ascent Capital, Helion Ventures, Bessemer, IFC, Alibaba are the investors of the company.
  1. Uacademy
‘Unacademy’ is an Indian educational technology company, based in Bangalore. Created as a YouTube channel in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal.  The company was founded in 2015 by Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh. Gaurav Munjal’s EdTech startup Unacademy may have become the latest unicorn in the country, but in his words, it is still Day 1 for the company. The firm, which was launched as a hobby on YouTube, has raised $150 million in a round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank valuing it at $1.45 billion, a three-fold jump in just six months. Existing investors General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Facebook, and Blume Ventures also participated in the round.
  1. CRED
  • FOUNDER: Kunal Shah
  • BASED IN: Mumbai
  • SECTOR: Payments – Credit Card Rewards
  • VALUATION: $2.2 Billion
CRED was founded by Kunal shah. With only INR 57 Lakh ($76K, at current conversion rate) as operating revenue in the financial year 2020. Kunal Shah-led fintech platform CRED entered the unicorn club at a vast valuation of $2.2 billion. Several big names of the investors’ ecosystem like DST Global, RTP Global, Tiger Global, Greenoaks Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Sofina have placed their bets over CRED. They focus on premium credit card users, offering them rewards and benefits for paying credit card bills. It forayed into e-commerce with CRED Store and in December. CRED launched CRED Pay to allow users to use their CRED reward coins across e-commerce sites and unlock discounts.
  1. Urban company
Gurugram based hyper-local service supplier Urban Company is the latest startup. It is founded in 2014 by Abhiraj Bahl, Raghav Chandra, and Varun Khaitan. Urban Company formerly called Urban Clap. It could be a home service company that focuses on beauty and massage, appliance repair, plumbing, carpentry, cleaning, and painting. Its home beauty vertically split into women and men,s grooming. Also, providing spa at-home massages. Also, these are the sub-brands- Urban improvement, Urban Repairs, and Urban Painting. It is claimed to be valued at $2 billion in its latest $188 billion. Million Series F funding round. While it has not confirmed the $1 billion valuations after Series F. Urban Company had raised its $75 million Series E in 2019 at a valuation of $933 million. Tiger Global, Steadview Capital, Accel India, Elevation Capital, Vy Capital, Prosus Ventures are the ventures of the company.
  1. First cry
In 2010, Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha founded Firstcry in Pune. The company is engaged in offering various categories of kids and baby products ranging from school essentials to clothing. It calls itself India’s largest community for parents. Around 13 million parents engage on the platform every month. There is a total of around 92 million monthly engagements on the platform. It is joined a unicorn startup in 2021. Chiratae Ventures, Elevation Capital, Vertex, SoftBank are the investors of the Firstcry. Japanese internet and telecom giant SoftBank’s Vision Fund decided to invest $400 million in FirstCry. According to regulatory filings by FirstCry’s holding entity BrainBees Solutions, it has approved 73.1 million Series E equity shares at Rs 386 (including a premium of Rs 381) per share SVF Frog, a Cayman Islands-registered entity of Softbank.
  1. Pharmeasy 
  • FOUNDER: Dharmil Sheth and Dhaval Shah
  • BASED IN: Mumbai
  • SECTOR: E-pharmacies
  • VALUATION: $1.8 Billion
PharmEasy was supported in 2015 by Dharmil Sheth and Dr. Dhaval Shah. The chronic care phase and offers a spread of services like teleconsultation, medication deliveries, and sample collections for diagnostic tests. It connects over 60K brick-and-mortar pharmacies. Also, 4K doctors in 16K communicating codes across the Republic of India. The platform also offers a SaaS solution for pharmacies to use in procurement. It combines delivery, logistics support, and credit solutions. Pharmeasy has joined a unicorn startup in 2021. It claims that they help over 20 million patients since its inception. Orios VP, Eight Roads Ventures, Temasek, Naspers are the investors of PharmEasy. We hope this content helped you – to read more interesting content on startups and entrepreneurship, please subscribe to our newsletter.

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