17 Top Unicorn Startup Companies In India To Watch In 2019

These days we often come across the term “Unicorn Companies” or “Unicorn Startup Companies” in our day to day conversations or on the Internet. Investopedia says the term “unicorn” was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee. Well, the most simple definition of a Unicorn company comes from Wikipedia, i.e. Unicorn is a privately held startup company with a current valuation of US$1 billion or more.

Another interesting thing about Unicorn Startup companies, there are more than 260 unicorn startups all around the world (CBInsights). Coming to India, the last decade surely belonged to the Startups; in fact, 2018 alone saw eight Startups joining India’s Unicorn club steering in an epoch of extraordinary growth. Startups in India are exploiting the flood of new technologies and bang of social media of the last decade to achieve the unicorn status. In this blog, we list out top 17 Unicorn Startup companies in India.

1. PayTM

India’s largest digital wallet provider with over 230 million registered users is topping this list. Paytm turned out to become India’s most valued unicorn after the acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart. In January 2018, this digital payment company touched the decacorn ($10 Bn) mark, making an epic start to the year. In April 2018, Paytm raised funds of Rs 2,900 crore (around $450 million) to empower offline merchants with greater technology as well as to build better logistics capabilities.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
  • HQ: Delhi
  • Sector: E-commerce
  • Value: $10 billion (Last valuation January 2018)
  • Website: paytm.com

2. OYO

In India, Oyo Rooms or Oravel Stays, operates a virtual hospitality brand by aggregating hotels/guesthouses specifically in the economy segment, making inventory available and bookable online, and delivering a standardised and trusted experience to the travellers. Since 2013, OYO has grown to over 8,500 hotels in 230 cities in India, Malaysia, UAE, Nepal, China, and Indonesia.

  • Founded: 2013
  • Founder: Ritesh Agarwal
  • HQ: India
  • Sector: Travel Tech/Hospitality
  • Value: $5 billion (Last Valuation September 2018)
  • Website: oyorooms.com

3. Ola Cabs

Stylised as OLΛ, Ola cabs is an Indian origin online transportation network company that was developed by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Founded in 2010 as an online cab aggregator in Mumbai, Olacabs now have their headquarters in Bengaluru. Recently, the company has started services in Australia and the UK.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Founder: Bhavish Aggarwal & Ankit Bhati
  • HQ: Bangalore
  • Sector: Transportation
  • Value: $4.3 billion (Last Valuation September 2018)
  • Website: olacabs.com

4. Byju’s

Byju’s is India’s first edtech company to enter the unicorn club. Began with a single person touring across the country to teach in classrooms and stadiums has today become one billion-dollar company.  Within 3 years, their flagship product Byju’s-The Learning App got 20 million registered students and 1.26 million annual paid subscribers. Byju’s has been growing at speed of 100% annually for the last three years and is expected to see steady growth in the years to come.

  • Founded: 2011
  • Founder: Byju Raveendran
  • HQ: Bangalore
  • Sector: Edtech
  • Value: $4 billion (Last Valuation October 2018)
  • Website: byjus.com

5. Swiggy

Bundl Technologies, dba Swiggy is an online food ordering and delivering service based in Bengaluru. The company partners with restaurants in over 25 cities to offer users food ordering and delivery services. Swiggy has its own fleet of delivery staffs who pick-up orders from restaurants and deliver it to the customers.

  • Founded: 2014
  • Founder: Nandan Reddy, Sriharsha Majety, Rahul Jaimini
  • HQ: Bangalore
  • Sector: Online food ordering
  • Value: $3.3 billion (Last Valuation December 2018)
  • Website: swiggy.com

6. PolicyBazaar

PolicyBazaar helps users in comparing different financial products, like general insurance, life insurance, credit cards, and loans. For the easy and sensible comparison, Policy Bazar has partnered with several financial institutions selling insurance and disbursing loans in India. The company also helps in getting free insurance quotes which help users to compare plans based on multiple features.

  • Founded: 2008
  • Founder: Yashish Dahiya, Alok Bansal, Avaneesh Nirjar
  • HQ: Gurugram
  • Sector: Insurance
  • Value: $1.0 billion (Last Valuation July 2018)
  • Website: policybazaar.com

7. Udaan

A B2B platform designed specifically for small to medium size businesses in India. It brings together wholesalers, retailers, traders, and manufacturers and enables logistics and payments through the platform.

  • Founded: 2016
  • Founder: Sujeet Kumar, Amod Malviya, Vaibhav Gupta
  • Sector: E-commerce
  • Value: $1.0 billion (Last Valuation September 2018)
  • Website: udaan.com

8. Freshworks

A cloud-based customer engagement company that creates solutions for support and sales, to engage with and delight both customers and employees. It is the parent company behind a group of diverse products like Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshsales, Freshcaller, Freshteam, Freshchat, and Freshmarketer. The company’s set of products are designed and structured to work closely together to increase alliance and help teams better connect and communicate with their co-workers and customers.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Founder: Girish Mathrubootham
  • HQ: Chennai
  • Sector: Software as a service
  • Value: $1.5 billion (Last Valuation July 2018)
  • Website: freshworks.com

9. Billdesk

Perhaps, one of the most prominent entities in the payment’s world consumers have never heard of. Billdesk operated the pipeline which connected billers with banks and preferred to be in the backend. Even in a strong competitive environment, Billdesk’s long pipelines and connecting roadways with billers across 33 diverse locations give it a strong foothold.

  • Founded: 2000
  • Founder: M.N. Srinivasu, Ajay Kaushal, Karthik Ganapathy
  • HQ: Mumbai
  • Sector: Financial Services
  • Value: $1.8 billion (Last Valuation November 2018)
  • Website: billdesk.com

10. Zomato

Zomato is an India-based online food and lifestyle portal that provides information and reviews on restaurants, including images of menus where the restaurant does not have its own website. They also have an Uber booking option built into the app, that allows the users to book cabs to take them to the restaurants that they wish to visit right away. From India to Vancouver to Auckland, today Zomato is used by millions of people to decide where to eat in over 10,000 cities across 24 countries.

  • Founded: 2008
  • Founder: Deepinder Goyal, Pankaj Chaddah
  • HQ: Gurgaon, Haryana
  • Sector: Consumer Services
  • Value: $2.5 billion (Last Valuation May 2017)
  • Website: zomato.com

11. ReNew Power

An Indian renewable energy company that is an Independent Power Producer (IPP) of clean energy with an installed capacity of more than 5600 MW across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. The company has established and positioned itself in the renewable energy market with an intention to produce clean energy and reduce India’s carbon footprint.

  • Founded: 2011
  • Founder: Sumant Sinha
  • HQ: Gurgaon, Haryana
  • Sector: Renewable energy
  • Value: $2.0 billion (Last Valuation February 2017)
  • Website: renewpower.in

12. InMobi

An ad tech company that functions as a global advertising and discovery platform which reaches over 1.5 billion unique mobile devices across the globe. The platform enables consumers to discover new products and services by providing contextual, relevant, and curated recommendations on mobile devices. The platform allows brands, developers, and publishers, to engage consumers through mobile advertising.

  • Founded: 2007
  • Founder: Naveen Tewari, Amit Gupta, Mohit Saxena, Abhay Singhal
  • Sector: Internet
  • Value: $1.0 billion+ (Last Valuation May 2017)
  • Website: inmobi.com

13. Hike

An Indian social and technology company that has simplified the way people connect and interact with content and services on mobile. In addition to text messaging, users can send graphical stickers, images, videos, audios, contacts, user location, and voice messages. In 2016, Hike raised $175 million in a new round of funding led by Tencent & Foxconn post that it reached a valuation of $1.4 Billion and became the youngest startup to reach unicorn status. Furthermore, it is also the lone company in the unicorn pack that is free.

  • Founded: 2011
  • Founder: Kavin Bharti Mittal
  • HQ: Delhi
  • Sector: Internet Software industry
  • Value: $1.4 billion (Last Valuation August 2016)
  • Website: get.hike.in

14. ShopClues

Operated by Clues Network, ShopClues is a fully managed online marketplace which connects sellers and buyers and offers a trusted and safe online shopping experience. The company claims to be associated with over 6 lakh merchants and 2.8 crore products on its platform, serving over 32,000 pin codes across the country.

  • Founded: 2012
  • Founder: Sandeep Aggarwal, Radhika Aggarwal
  • HQ: Gurugram
  • Sector: E-Commerce
  • Value: $1.1 billion (Last Valuation January 2016)
  • Website: shopclues.com

15. Quikr

Initially launched as Kijiji India, Quikr is an Indian classified advertising platform headquartered in Bangalore. This e-commerce platform provides the opportunity to buy and sell properties, it has listings in over 900 cities in India in diverse range of categories which include furniture, mobile phones, household goods, cars, real estate, jobs, services and education.

  • Founded: 2008
  • Founder: Pranay Chulet, Jiby Thomas
  • HQ: Bangalore
  • Sector: E-Commerce
  • Value: $1.0 billion (Last Valuation April 2015)
  • Website: http://www.quikr.com

16. Snapdeal

Snapdeal is an Indian e-commerce company featuring a wide range of products and services from 300,000+ sellers. The company claims list over 30 million products across 800+ diverse categories from over 125,000 regional, national, and international brands and retailers and a reach of 6,000 towns and cities across the country.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Founder: Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal
  • HQ: Delhi
  • Sector: E-Commerce
  • Value: $1.0 billion (Last Valuation May 2017)
  • Website: snapdeal.com

Let’s hope the investors keep investing and India keeps producing more unicorns. Meanwhile, here’s wishing a successful 2019 to all our existing unicorns.

17. Mu Sigma

An Indian management consulting firm which primarily offers data analytics services. The company was ranked #907 on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list of Americas’ fastest-growing private companies. Dhiraj Rajaram, the founder and chairman of the company was ranked 37 on the Fortune Magazine in 2013.

  • Founded: 2004
  • Founder: Dhiraj Rajaram
  • HQ: Bangalore
  • Sector: Management consulting
  • Value: $1.5 billion (Last Valuation February 2013)
  • Website: mu-sigma.com


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