India no more third largest unicorn base; Paytm yet to enter top 10; Byju’s, OYO, Ola part of top 50

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August 4, 2020 5:06 PM

Paytm with $16-billion valuation (ranked 13th globally) followed by both OYO and Byju’s ($8-billion valuation each) ranked 31st globally, Ola ($6 billion) ranked 49th, Swiggy ($3.5 billion) and Zomato ($3.5 billion) ranked 96th were top Indian unicorns in this year's Hurun Global Unicorns list.

Lenskart, Zerodha, and FirstCry were three companies turning unicorn in India since Hurun’s last year ranking.

India is no more the third largest base for unicorns globally. The country has slipped to the fourth position pipped by the UK as the total number of unicorns in India failed to increase in 2020 so far from last year. According to the Hurun Global Unicorns 2020 list – the annual listing of unicorns across the world – India’s number of unicorns was 21 in 2019 and remained at 21 from last year ranking out in October. On the other hand, the UK added 11 new unicorns from last year to a total of 24 to bag the third spot. Also, the 21 unicorns in India were just a little over 50 per cent of 38 brand new unicorns that came up from last year in China — the second biggest base globally with 227 unicorns following 233 unicorns in the US. India’s unicorn tally was led by Paytm with $16-billion valuation (13th globally up from 23rd last year) followed by both OYO and Byju’s ($8 billion each) ranked 31st globally, Ola ($6 billion) ranked 49th, Swiggy ($3.5 billion) and Zomato ($3.5 billion) both ranked 96th.

Lenskart, Zerodha, and FirstCry were three companies turning unicorn in India since Hurun’s last year ranking. Despite the three new additions, India failed to improve its unicorn number as the mobile advertising company and India’s first unicorn InMobi, online classifieds portal Quikr, and e-commerce marketplace ShopClues (acquired by Singapore-based e-commerce company Qoo10 last year) were pulled down from the 2020 list amid the decline in their valuations from hallowed $1-billion mark.

Interestingly, far more than the number of Indian unicorns, 40 unicorns in the list were founded by Indian origin entrepreneurs outside India. This took the total tally of unicorns founded by Indians to 61. “The Indian founders of the 40 unicorns outside of India deserve to be recognised in much the same way as Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella, an inspiration to many young Indian entrepreneurs,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher. 36 of these 40 unicorns were based in the US while two of them were in the UK and one each in Germany and Switzerland. Some of the highly notable names of unicorns founded by Indians overseas in the list were Robinhood ($8 billion valuation) Instacart ($8 billion), Automation Anywhere ($7 billion), Roivant Sciences ($7 billion), Samsara Networks ($6.5 billion), Ginkgo BioWorks ($4 billion), Freshworks ($3.5 billion), etc.

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In terms of the top cities home to maximum unicorns, Beijing with 93 unicorns followed by 68 unicorns in San Francisco, 47 in Shanghai, 33 in New York and 20 in Shenzen dominated the rank. Indian cities Bengaluru with 8 unicorns and Gurugram with 6 unicorns were ranked 12 and 16 respectively.

Overall, there were 586 unicorns recorded in the world by Hurun 2020 list from the last year list with 92 new additions. Importantly, the top three unicorns were from China – “Ant Group ($150-billion valuation), on back of Shanghai and Hong Kong IPO plan, ByteDance up $5 billion to $80 billion, despite recent US govt threat to TikTok, and taxi-hailing app DiDi Chuxing’s $55 billion,”, the release by Hurun noted. The total value of all known unicorns globally, according to Hurun, was a whopping $1.9 trillion. The top sectors attracting maximum unicorns were e-commerce with 89 unicorns, AI (for example autonomous driving and facial recognition), and fintech (such as payment solutions) with 63 each, software-as-a-service with 53, shared economy with 33 and health tech with 28 unicorns.

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