India to have 105 unicorns by 2025; Grofers, Practo, CarDekho, others next to hit $1 billion valuation

India could see the number of unicorns growing to 95-105 by the year 2025 with a cumulative valuation of a whopping $350-390 billion, said Nasscom in its annual startup report.

Inflatable unicorns stand on display at the Noah technology conference in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday, June 22, 2017. The conference, one of the tech industry's premier events, was launched in 2009 and runs June 8-9. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Even as the year 2019 (till August) saw 7 startups crossing the $1 billion private market valuation to earn the hallowed unicorn tag, the upcoming year may see another eight added to the total list of 24 unicorns in India. According to the Nasscom startup report 2019 launched on Tuesday, startups including GreyOrange (warehouse automation), Pine Labs (merchants payment) , CarDekho (auto classifieds), Practo (healthtech), Grofers (grocery), Urban Ladder (furniture marketplace), LendkingKart (MSME lending), and Blackbuck (logistics) are likely to see their valuation hitting or crossing $1 billion.

From 17 unicorns in 2018, this year Icertis (contract management software), Dream11 (gaming), Druva (cloud security), Ola Electric (e-vehicle), Rivigo (logistics), Delhivery (e-commerce delivery), BigBasket (grocery) turned unicorns in 2019. Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “To stimulate innovation, government and corporates need to focus on increasing their role as prominent stakeholders playing the part of venture capitalists and providing the appropriate market access, funding, and guidance to seed-stage start-ups,” Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom said in a statement. The next wave of growth will be at the junction of convergence of technologies, where different sectors will embrace digital to re-define their operations, she added.

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The report stressed that India could see the number of unicorns growing to 95-105 by the year 2025 with a cumulative valuation of a whopping $350-390 billion and are likely to boost the number of direct jobs to 12.5 lakh and indirect jobs to 44 lakh.

Other highlights from the report are:

  • 1,300 tech startups born in 2019; total number of startups increased from 7,700-8,200 in 2018 to 8,900-9,300.
  • Funding in tech startups increased though marginally from $4.2 billion in 2018 to $4.4 billion (till September 2019).
  • Early-stage funding also increased from $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion.
  • Direct jobs increased from 40,000 to 60,000 while indirect employment shot up from 1.2 lakh – 1.6 lakh to 1.3 lakh – 1.8 lakh.
  • The number of deep technology startups also grew to over 1,600 from 1,200 — 33 per cent increase.
  • Incubators and accelerators also increased to over 335 in 2019 from more than 320 in 2018.
  • Corporate investors also enhanced their focus on startups with a number of such investors growing from more than 70 last year to over 80 this year.

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