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India edges out China in creating new unicorns in H1CY22: Hurun report

September 08, 2022 11:02 IST

India overtook China to add the most number of new unicorns--start-ups valued at $1 billion or more--in the first half of 2022 despite a funding winter haunting entrepreneurs in the south Asian nation.


Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

India added 14 new unicorns in the period (H1 2022) and China had 11, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2022.

The US led the ranking by adding 138 start-ups in the unicorn club.


This is not the first time that India has managed to add more unicorns in a specific period.

Accroding to a PwC report in Q3CY21, India added 10 new unicorns, and China and Hong Kong added seven.

As many as 254 new unicorns were added globally during H1 2022.

The US tops the list, with 625 unicorns.

It is followed by China with 312 and India is in the third spot with 68.

“India consolidated its Top 3 spot with 68 unicorns, led by online educator BYJU’S worth $22 billion, followed by on-demand delivery start-up Swiggy (US$11 billion) and fantasy sports platform travel-stay finder Dream11 ($8 billion),” according to the Hurun’s report.

Indian co-founders started 56 unicorns outside India. Indians have founded 124 unicorns in total around the world.

“Of the unicorns founded outside of India, significantly all were in the USA (51), led by the Bay Area, and 2 in the UK, and 1 each in Germany, Singapore and Mexico.”

Bengaluru added 5 new unicorns in H1 2022, accounting for 2.5 per cent of such companies worldwide.

“By city, San Francisco retained the title of ‘World Unicorn Capital’ with 176 unicorns, up 25.

"New York overtook Beijing to take second spot with 120 unicorns, up 35.

"Beijing with 90 unicorns dropped down to third, followed by Shanghai with 69.

"London with 39 unicorns was fifth, followed by Bengaluru and Shenzhen with 33 unicorns each,” said the report.

No Indian unicorn figured in the Top 10 list.

Byju’s, at a valuation of $22 billion, came at fourteenth in the Top 20 list, the only Indian firm to be there.

Indian start-ups in the Top 100 unicorn list included Swiggy, Dream11 and Oyo with the 45th, 75th and 91st ranks.

H1 2022 recorded a big drop in valuations, pushing some start-ups out of the unicorn list.

The report said that 147 unicorns saw their valuations drop in the last six months, of which 71 were from the USA and 29 from China.

Beijing-based Douyin led the way with the biggest drop in valuation, down $150 billion to $200 billion.

Sweden-based Klarna saw a 86 per cent drop in valuation, while USA-based Stripe saw a 35 per cent drop in total value during the last six months.

About 81 unicorns from the last year saw their valuation drop below $1bn, of which 36 were from the USA and 35 from China, led by Ping An Healthcare Technology, which had a valuation of $9bn last year.

Japan’s Softbank was the second most successful investor with 180 unicorns in its portfolio.

Sequoia leads the list of investors who has been the most successful investor with 234 unicorns.

The third position is held by Tiger Global.

Aryaman Gupta in New Delhi
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