A quick indicator of a country’s industrial prowess, till quite recently, was the number of companies that made it to the Fortune Global 500 listing.
Now, as the focus shifts to technology start-ups, the interest is on the number of unicorns —a term coined by investor Aileen Lee in 2013 for a start-up technology company with a valuation of $1 billion or more—from a country.
According to CB Insights—a venture capital and angel investment database – there are 170 unicorns globally. Not surprisingly, the US leads the pack with 95 unicorns followed by China (33) and India (7).
The combined valuation of these 170 start-ups is $620 billion, with 61 of them valued at $1 billion each. The three largest unicorns—Uber, valued at $68 billion, China’s Xiaomi ($46 billion) and Didi Chuxing ($36 billion) are individually valued more than the combined value of the seven Indian unicorns ($35.5 billion).
Interestingly, South America and Africa have only one unicorn each—Argentina’s internet services & software company Decolar and Nigeria’s e-commerce marketplace, Africa Internet Group.
The newest Indian entrant to the list is Kavin Bharti Mittal’s Hike Messenger that raised $175 million from China’s Tencent Holdings and Taiwan’s Foxconn, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.
Three Indian unicorns—Flipkart, Snapdeal and Shopclues are in the e-commerce marketplace. Globally, 35 unicorns are in the e-commerce maketplace followed by internet software and services (27), fintech (19) and big data (14). Here’s a quick look at the current Indian unicorns.