The year 2022 began immediately after the record-breaking year 2021. In the first four months of 2022, 13 Indian firms joined the unicorn club. This brings the total number of Indian tech businesses that have ever joined the unicorn club to 100. These 100 Indian unicorns have collectively garnered $90 billion in fundraising and are worth roughly $333 billion.
India has earned the reputation of being the ideal cradle for new-age businesses due to its favorable demographics and dynamic economy. Despite the fact that many companies die too soon, they are re-energizing the Indian economy to a great extent, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic. Through its Startup India Initiative, the Indian government has been fostering entrepreneurial activities for several years. As a result, a growing number of Indian entrepreneurs are entering the industry after seeing the opportunity to profit from their distinctive ideas.
This AI-first SaaS company aspires to become the world’s premier voice automation and AI platform. Speech recognition and Voice Assistant are services provided by the company to the banking, food & beverage, and hospitality industries. Their services require the least amount of human intervention and can also tackle complex servicing concerns. Also, in the year 2020, the company, which was founded in 2016, raised $5.1 million in funding.
According to the Economic Times, Vernacular.ai plans to add 100 people in 2021, perhaps bolstering its leadership team. Despite layoffs and wage cuts over the last year, Vernacular.ai has increased its personnel by fourfold. Also, with multipurpose personnel, the company is on its way to becoming the world’s most appealing Voice AI platform. Gangadhar Kodandaram (a former Microsoft employee) has recently been named Chief Revenue Officer, and Ankit Jain has been named Vice President of Product Management (Alumnus of Amazon). Their knowledge and expertise will undoubtedly propel Vernacular.ai to new heights.
Because voice and automation are two hot technologies that are especially to explode in popularity in the future, Vernacular.ai is likely to expand its activities.
PharmEasy is an Indian online pharmacy and medical store that specializes in over-the-counter (OTC) medications, diagnostic tests, and medical devices. The company was started in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in 2015 and has had tremendous growth since then. It’s an internet pharmacy containing everything you’d find in a traditional medical store.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, the company became a vital service that aided in its expansion. 1mg and Netmeds are PharmEasy’s Indian competitors. This health-tech business has raised $350 million, making it India’s first Epharmacy unicorn. The money was raised after PharmEasy merged with its competitor Medlife. PharmEasy owns 100 percent of Medlife, while the latter owns 19.95 percent of the combined company. Both companies have united to combat competition from competitor players such as Netmeds (Reliance Jio), Flipkart, and Amazon Pharmacy, who have recently entered the epharmacy industry in India.
PharmEasy’s investors have previously invested in firms such as Swiggy and Byju’s. Across the next 12 months, the founders Dharmil Sheth and Dr. Dhaval Shah hope to reach over 100,000 pharmacies in India’s new geographical regions.
Meesho is a reseller platform that was founded in 2015 by IIT-Delhi graduates and is poised to become a major e-commerce distribution channel where homepreneurs may sell products via WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. After receiving $300 million in funding, the company is now at $2.1 billion. Meesho is an ecosystem that allows small enterprises to operate on the internet. This platform has raised $490 million to date, with Facebook as an investor. Meesho is an online marketplace that links vendors with customers and manages logistics, orders, and payments for the sellers. It has a network of over 13 million entrepreneurs in Indian cities that sell groceries, home and kitchen equipment, clothing, and other goods.
Meesho has a great potential to upscale retailing to new heights in the future since Indian social commerce is to increase at a rate of 55%-60%. It competes with firms like GlowRoad, Dealshare, and CityMall, which are all attracting investor interest. In December 2020, Dealshare, which was launched in 2018, raised $21 million. Meesho claims to have made deliveries from more than 100,000 registered vendors, netting the homepreneurs more than 500 crores ($68 million).
Groww is a stock, ETF, mutual fund, and IPO investing platform that allows consumers to invest in a variety of securities. The platform is compatible with both mobile and online applications. Four ex-Flipkart employees launched the company in 2016 after noticing how tough it is to invest in India. This realization inspired them to create Groww, which now boasts over 15 million users. According to Groww, more than 60% of the company’s ownership comes from smaller Indian cities that have never invested before. You can use Groww across India, not just in metro cities, according to one of the founders, Lalit Keshre.
Users are from all walks of life, from the working class to the young, and they want to invest their hard-earned money. In 2021, the company raised $83 million and joined the Unicorn club. They plan to use the funds to develop new products, hire new employees, and construct educational platforms for investors.
It is also on CB Insights’ list of the top 250 most promising startups in the world. Groww is a competitor to Zerodha and PayTm Money, two prominent platforms for young investors. Groww teaches millennials how to invest properly with their money.
Nykaa is a fashion e-commerce website and an online beauty store that was started in 2012. Customers can get affordable wellness and beauty products from the company. It’s worth noting that the company raised $25 million in March 2020 and is currently worth $1.2 billion. Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif are among the company’s investors.
Falguni Nayar, a former investment banker, and platform entrepreneur envisioned a platform with hundreds of product alternatives. The company now has over 55 retail locations and fulfills around 1.5 million orders every month. Nykaa has over 5 million monthly active users and sells over 500 brands on its website and in its locations. Nykaa Fashion is the company’s newest business, which sells clothes and accessories. They also have a brand “Nykd”, its own private label for intimate clothing. India’s online beauty business is to develop at a CAGR of 9%, according to a report by RedSeer Consulting. Nykaa will be able to increase its business in India as a result of this chance.
Chillr is a multi-bank mobile banking app that was created by Sony Joy in 2014. Sony designed Chillr as a peer-to-peer program for money transfer and recharges with the goal of removing the need for cash, credit cards, and mobile wallets. Users can use the software to send money to anyone on their phone’s contact list without revealing their bank account details. Users can also pay utility bills, recharge their phones, and do a lot more with the app, which they can also connect to their bank account. Banks like HDFC and Bank of Baroda have already signed up with the firm. The startup raised USD 7 million in capital from investors in just one round of funding in 2015.
Quikr is one of the most successful firms in Mumbai. Pranay Chulet founded the online classified advertising platform in 2008 after working in the United States and witnessing the dot-com boom. He saw no reason why the idea couldn’t work in India, inspired by Craiglist’s success there, but investors were skeptical at the time. Since then, the market has significantly transformed, and Quickr has developed enormously as one of India’s startup economy’s pioneers. The company is now worth $1 billion and received $150 million in the capital last year from previous investors such as Tiger Global Management and Steadview Capital Management.
In 2016, a software business that offers B2B e-commerce solutions were created. Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta, and Amod Malviya, former executives of Flipkart, founded the company, which now has over 3 million users across 900 cities. It connects more than 25000 sellers across India. Thousands of brands have signed on with the company, including Boat Lifestyle, PepsiCo, LG, ITC, and many others. The company became a unicorn in 2018 and in the quickest amount of time. Udaan just raised $280 million in funding from existing and new investors. As of now, the company has raised $1.15 billion in total and is valued at over $3.1 billion.
Who hasn’t heard of Swiggy? Consider yourself at work on a Monday, yearning for a cheesecake after lunch. Swiggy has made it simple for you to satisfy your hunger while relaxing at home. Swiggy, India’s largest meal delivery network, operates in 27 cities and has collaborated with over 40,000 businesses. The company, which is in Bangalore, recently raised $800 million in capital and is now valued at roughly $5 billion.
The company has always been customer-focused, which sets it apart from other startups. When rival meal delivery startups like TinyOwl and FoodPanda were failing, Swiggy created a name for itself by standing out. As a result, it is one of India’s most successful startups.
Housing.com is a significant real estate search portal that serves more than 40 Indian cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Chennai. A group of 12 entrepreneurial IITians, including co-founders Rahul Yadav, Advitiya Sharma, and Suvir Sajan, founded the Mumbai-based firm in 2012. Housing.com has had remarkable success as a result of its novel approach to the online real estate market, which includes interactive maps, images of every listed property, room details, limits, amenities, and much more. Users can search for properties listed by individuals, landlords, and brokers, and refine their results using numerous search parameters and filters.
In many Indian cities, the desire for reliable alternatives to public transportation and ‘black and yellow’ metered taxis led to the creation of online cab aggregators. Today, Ola Cabs is one of the top providers of such transportation services. Also, Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati founded the company in Mumbai in December 2010. So, the company quickly expanded to a network of over 200,000 taxis in 85 locations. By the end of 2014, the network had been expanded to include auto-rickshaws under the Ola Auto service. Because of the company’s dependability, excellent customer service, and user-friendly platform, customers have positively responded to its services.
Toppr is an adaptive test preparation website for students in India who are preparing for a variety of admission tests. They used to be solely for IIT JEE candidates, but it has now expanded to include pre-medical courses like AIMPT and foundation courses for kids studying for the board and higher secondary exams. In 2013, Zishaan Hayath created Toppr. It began with just five people working out of an apartment, but now employs over 100 people and serves over 1,50,000 students across the country. SAIF Partners and Helion Ventures have invested USD 2 million in the company as startup capital. Toppr bought Jodhpur-based Easyprep in April 2015, and edu-tech firm Manch in February 2016.
Justdial bills itself as India’s No. 1 local search engine because it offers services all across the country. Customers can receive the information via phone, internet, mobile app, or SMS. V S S Mani launched the company in 1996 with a small initial investment of Rs. 50,000. Justdial began with six employees and now employs over 7,400 individuals. JustDial’s web-based version debuted in 2007 and their Android app debuted in 2011. Also, their Android software, Search Plus, features 28 linked apps, allowing users to do things like supermarket shopping, flower delivery, movie ticket booking, and online restaurant ordering from a single platform. The company has gone through several funding rounds, starting with an Rs. 50 crore investment from SAIF.
Weddingz was founded in January 2015 and has already made a name for itself. Sandeep Lodha launched the company after attending a cousin’s wedding and witnessing the hardship that couples and their families face when planning weddings. Weddingz uses digital technologies to give a wedding planning platform. Also, on this integrated system, users may find and select numerous services at the cheapest prices. Over 2,000 venues and merchants are in the company’s ten sites across the country. Weddingz began operations in Mumbai a year ago and has since extended to cities and states like Delhi, Bengaluru, and Goa.
Ashutosh Pandey, a musician and entrepreneur, created Bajaao.com as a labor of passion. He was all too familiar with the suffering of struggling musicians as the frontman for Xenon, one of the city’s leading metal bands in the early 2000s. He was aware of the difficulties of obtaining world-class musical instruments. Also, with an initial investment of just Rs. 2.5 lakhs, he founded Bajaao to sell musical equipment online shortly after the band disbanded in 2005. The firm quickly broke even as the first online musical store, so thanks to good service and a large selection. With an annual sales of over Rs. 13 crores, Bajaao is India’s largest e-retailer for musical instruments.