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India has 100 unicorns valued at $240bn, bulk of them in Bengaluru

Source: PTI
March 23, 2021 16:08 IST
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India is home to 100 unicorns across sectors and which are collectively valued at over USD 240 billion, a Swiss brokerage said on Tuesday.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

These unicorns, or startups valued at over USD 1 billion, are across industries, beyond technology and tech-enabled sectors as well, like pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods, Credit Suisse India equity strategist Neelkanth Mishra told reporters in Mumbai.


Mishra said two-thirds of these 100 unicorns came into being after 2005 and added that among the listed companies' universe, there are 336 scrips commanding a market capitalisation of over USD 1 billion.

From an enabling perspective, he said the shortage of risk capital is being addressed by private equity funds who have upped their play and also exceeded public issues, while telecom and infrastructure connectivity have also helped.

The financial technology (fintech) firms are among the leaders in the unicorn club, with five start-ups valued at over USD 22 billion, the brokerage said.

“Indian fintech companies have attracted USD 10 billion of capital and are now at the forefront of India's startup ecosystem,” its head of India securities research Ashish Gupta said, attributing the investor interest to growth in digital payments.

Mishra said from a future perspective, the software as a service (SaaS) sector is one of the most attractive ones as Indian IT makes the leap to being a products-led story from being a service delivery-led one.

There are over 7,000 SaaS companies in India now and the growth has been enabled by vast availability of IT trained professionals, low economical cost of business set-up, increased adoption of digital technology and increased availability of funding, Mishra said.

He said the education technology sector will also show a good interest, and the Edtech market in India is expected to grow five times by 2025 to USD 4 billion with a bulk of USD 1.5 billion opportunities resting in the K-12 segment.

From a geographical spread perspective, the unicorns are spread across the country with Bengaluru being the dominant hub and closely followed by Delhi NCR and Mumbai.

A rise in the number of unicorns can create more wealth as the entrepreneurs invest the funds in newer ventures, Mishra said, adding that he expects many of the unicorns in its list to go public soon. 

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