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Indian entrepreneurs set up a total of 61 unicorns globally

Written by Moulishree Srivastava Published on 

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The total value of all known unicorns based in India is USD 73.2 billion, while the value of unicorns founded overseas by Indians sums up to USD 99.6  billion.

Indian entrepreneurs have set up 61 unicorn companies across the world, with two-third of them founded overseas by Indian origin founders, reveals the data compiled by London-based Hurun Report Inc., which tracks unicorns globally as well as compiles the global rich list.

According to the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020 and Hurun India Unicorn Index 2020, published earlier this month, of the total unicorns founded by Indian entrepreneurs, 40 are located outside India, while the rest 21 are headquartered in the country.

“India officially has 61 unicorns, but only 21 are headquartered in India, with the remaining started up by Indians overseas,” said Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher at Hurun Report India.

The report states that 36 of the 40 unicorns founded by Indians outside of India are in the USA, followed by two in the UK, and one each in Germany and Switzerland.

It is to be noted that both the reports have taken into consideration valuations of the companies till 31 March 2020. In the subsequent months, India has added three more unicorns–payments firm Pine Labs, online beauty and personal care products startup Nykaa, and API creation platform Postman, which are not listed in the report.

Hurun Research said there are 586 unicorns in the world, based in 29 countries and 145 cities, up 92 this year as compared to 2019. On average, these unicorns were set up nine years ago, with the majority offering disruptive technology. In India, the average age of Indian unicorns is seven years, of which two are less than four years old. Ola Electric, the report said is the youngest unicorn on the list, being founded in 2017, and becoming a unicorn in two years.

The total value of all known unicorns globally is USD 1.8 trillion, equivalent to the GDP of Italy, the report added.

In India, the total value of all known unicorns amounts to USD 73.2 billion, as per the Hurun India unicorn index 2020, while the total value of unicorns founded overseas by Indians sums up to USD 99.6  billion.

With a valuation of USD 8.5 billion, fintech company Robinhood is the most valued unicorn company founded overseas by an Indian origin founder, the report stated.

Globally, the US has the most number of unicorns at 233, with China trailing behind it with 227 unicorns. Together they account for over 78% of the world’s unicorn companies. The UK and India feature on number three and four positions producing 24 and 21 unicorn companies, respectively.

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“The USA and China continue to dominate with 80% of the world’s known unicorns, despite representing only 40% of the world’s GDP and a quarter of the world’s population,” stated Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf. “The rest of the world needs to wake up to providing an ecosystem that allows unicorns to flourish.”

Interestingly, one-third of the billion-dollar-companies in India are in e-commerce space, which is the top business sector for these unicorns, in line with the global trend. While, four unicorn startups are in the fintech space, two operate in the shared economy sector. Globally, there are 89 unicorns in the e-commerce sector. City-wise, Bengaluru is India’s unicorn capital with eight unicorns, followed by Gurugram and Noida, who have six and two unicorns, respectively.

The report said Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which has backed nearly half the Indian unicorns, has the most number of Indian unicorns in its portfolio. Some of its prominent portfolio startups in the country include payments services firm Paytm, mobility company Ola, hospitality giant Oyo, online baby-product platform Firstcry, and insurance marketplace Policybazaar. SoftBank is followed by China’s Alibaba, and US-based VC firms Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital, in terms of backing unicorns in India.

Meanwhile, Sequoia has emerged as the world’s most successful investor in unicorns. It has backed 20% or one in five unicorns in the world, according to the Hurun Report. Other top unicorn investors include Tencent, Tiger Global, IDG, Goldman Sachs, and Alibaba.

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