Entrepreneur

11 Indian startups manage to bag the unicorn tag in a pandemic year


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2020 has not been the best of years, but it has definitely been a boom for the internet economy. Despite the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic, India saw more than 10 startups bag the unicorn tag. India also saw 11 startups cross the $1 billion mark in valuation and bag the unicorn tag versus only 9 in 2019.

Google gave India two unicorns as a Christmas present by investing in Dailyhunt parent company VerSe Innovations and Glance. VerSe has raised $100 million from giants like Google and Microsoft. On the other hand, Glance which aims to dominate the lock screens of the world raised $145 million from Google and existing investor Mithril Partners.

Take a look at the 11 startups that turned into unicorns this year.

VerSe Innovation

VerSe innovations turned into a unicorn in 2020 after an investment from Google and Microsoft. The company focuses on the language content and has organisations like Dailyhunt under its wing.

Glance

InMobi group’s Glance turned into a unicorn in December alongside VerSe Innovation. Just like Google dominates search and Youtube dominates videos, Glance aims to dominate the lock screen space. The company also got funding from existing investors Mithril Capital in this round.

Zenoti

Zenoti became the fifth Saas company to turn into a unicorn. The news came after the company raised $160 million in funding from investors like Advant International which was also the primary investor in the round. The startup head Sudheer Koneru told ET Now in an exclusive interview that it was the best of times and the worst of times in 2020 as the company manoeuvred through the impact of the pandemic and saw the beauty industry shutdown. The company provides software solutions to salons and is now back to 80% of pre-covid levels.

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Cars24

The company turned into a unicorn in November after raising capital in Series-E funding round where DST Global was the primary investor. The company works in the online space, selling cars using technology for better pricing.

Pine Labs

The fintech firm was founded in 1998 and turned the first company to bag the unicorn title in 2020. Pine Labs has nearly doubled its valuation before the year-end after an investment from Lone Pine of $100 million.

Unacademy

The biggest beneficiary of the covid-pandemic was the edtech segment as online learning was sampled globally with faster adoption of technology. The company is valued at $1.45 billion and was funded by SoftBank group and also has Sequoia Capital and Facebook as investors.

FirstCry

The company that is an online seller of baby products is valued at $1.2 Billion and is also funded by SoftBank group. The company plans to take on E-commerce biggies like Flipkart and Amazon by scaling up.

Nykaa

The online beauty platform turned into a unicorn with $1.2 Billion valuation. Despite starting off in the online space, the company further scaled up to move into offline retail stores across cities in India. The company is now also selling clothing online and plans to go public soon.

Postman

The software startup turned into a unicorn in 2020 and has a $2 billion valuation. The company was founded in 2014 and works in API testing space. It has investors like Nexus and CRV.

Zerodha

The online broker firm made the best of the pandemic. 2020 saw a record number of Demat accounts open and first-time investors joined the market rally during the lockdown. The company was founded in 2010 and has angel investors.

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RazorPay

Another company that bagged the unicorn tag this year as UPI transactions hit record high was RazorPay. The fintech company is valued at $1.2 Billion and is backed by Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global among other investors.



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