According to Forbes, India’s startup ecosystem produced 42 unicorns worth a total of $82.1 billion last year. It’s no surprise that 2021 was a big year for startups in India, with a slew of unicorns launched and a slew of IPOs, including Paytm, Zomato, and Nykaa.
However, unicorn births are not expected to slow down in 2022, with 17 companies having already entered the $1 billion club.
Here’s a list of Indian companies that have joined the unicorn club this year, from the first entrance, Mamaearth, to the most recent additions, Physics Wallah and Purplle.
1. MamaEarth (Beauty, cosmetic & personal care products)
Honasa Consumer, the parent business of personal care brands such as Mamaearth and The Derma Co, reportedly secured $52 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital on January 1, 2022, boosting its valuation to $1.2 billion. As a result, it became the first unicorn of 2022.
2. Fractal Analytics(Advanced analytics)
Fractal Analytics is another company that will be valued at a billion dollars in 2022. Fractal, which was founded in Mumbai in 2000, is now a US-based artificial intelligence startup that helps global Fortune 100 firms power every human decision in the enterprise by combining analytics and AI.
Fractal’s valuation surpassed $1 billion in January 2022 thanks to $360 million in investment from TPG Capital Asia, a private equity firm. Fractal is now only the second pure-play analytics company in India (after Mu Sigma) to achieve unicorn status.
3. LEAD School (Edtech)
LEAD School, an edtech company, raised $100 million from investors led by GSV Ventures and WestBridge Capital in January 2022. This resulted in a valuation of $1.1 billion in January 2022, which was more than doubled in less than a year.
The Mumbai-based company, which was founded in 2021, provides schools with tech-enabled solutions, with a focus on digital learning via an online or hybrid model of physical and digital classrooms.
4. Darwinbox (HRtech)
Darwinbox, a software as a service (SaaS)-based HR Tech platform, raised $72 million in a series D financing in January 2022. In 2022, it became the first unicorn in the SaaS market. Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners, 3One4Capital, JGDEV, and SCB 10X led the round, which was joined by existing investors Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners, 3One4Capital, JGDEV, and SCB 10X.
Darwinbox, which was founded in 2015 and competes with global players such as SAP, Oracle, and Workday, had hoped to use this money to expand globally.
5. DealShare (Social commerce grocery startup)
Dealshare, a social commerce grocery firm, joined the unicorn club this year after receiving $165 million in January 2022 from investors led by Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Global. After the funding, the company was estimated to be worth more than $1.6 billion.
Dragoneer Investments Group, Kora Capital, and Unilever Ventures are among the new investors in the company. The funds raised will be used to invest in technology and data science, as well as a ten-fold expansion of Dealshare’s logistics infrastructure and geographical reach.
6. Livspace (Home interior and renovation)
Livspace, a home interior and refurbishment firm, was another addition to the unicorn list of 2022. It raised $180 million in a Series F financing headed by KKR, a global investment firm, in February 2022. Existing investors such as Ingka Group Investments (IKEA’s holding company), Jungle Ventures, Venturi Partners, and Peugeot Investments all participated in the round.
7. ElasticRun (B2B ecommerce)
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 spearheaded a $300 million investment in ElasticRun, a Pune-based commerce platform, valuing it at $1.5 billion and putting it into the unicorn club.
ElasticRun, according to Forbes, uses a network of delivery services to connect businesses with Kirana stores—mom-and-pop shops offering everyday necessities in India’s deep rural areas.
The startup’s Series E investment round included participation from Goldman Sachs and existing investor Prosus.
According to Forbes, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Procter & Gamble, and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail are among the major multinationals that have partnered with ElasticRun.
Xpressbees, a Pune-based logistics start-up, reportedly raised $300 million in a Series F fundraising round earlier this year, putting it on track to become another unicorn in 2022. The firm was valued at $1.2 billion after the financing.
Private equity firms Blackstone Growth, TPG Growth, and ChrysCapital are said to have spearheaded the investment round, which involves a $100 million initial capital infusion and a $200 million secondary share sale.
9. Uniphore (Conversational AI)
Uniphore, a conversational automation business, became a unicorn in 2022 after obtaining $400 million in fundraising at a valuation of $2.5 billion in February. The startup’s Series E investment was led by NEA, with participation from March Capital and other current investors.
Uniphore had raised roughly $610 million from outside investors with this fundraising till February 2022. Uniphore is a software company that specialises in conversational analytics, assistants, and security.
10. Hasura (GraphQL developer)
Hasura, a software business based in San Francisco and Bengaluru, has raised $100 million in a new investment round led by Greenoaks Capital. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Vertex Ventures all participated in the round, according to ET.
Hasura’s valuation increased to $1 billion as a result of the fundraising, putting it on the list of India’s unicorns for 2022. The money would be used to speed up research and development and increase global go-to-market activities for the company’s flagship GraphQL Engine.
11. CredAvenue (Fintech)
According to an ET article, CredAvenue, an online loan marketplace, became a unicorn in March 2022 after receiving $137 million in a new round headed by New York-based Insight Partners, B Capital Group, and Dragoneer.
The company’s valuation increased to $1.3 billion as a result of the investment round. The startup was previously valued at $410 million in September 2021. The proceeds from the latest round were expected to be used to scale the company’s platform and expand the breadth of its offerings. It also expected to utilise the funds to expand its operations across important worldwide regions, as well as to grow inorganically through acquisitions, according to reports.
Amagi, a media technology company, has raised $95 million in a fundraising round headed by Accel, with Norwest Venture Partners and Avataar Ventures joining as existing investors. In March 2022, the fresh funding valued the company at over $1 billion.
According to the Times of India, Bengaluru-based Amagi began as a cloud-based geo-targeted TV advertising company in 2008, but turned in 2018 to become a global leader in SaaS-based broadcast and connected TV. It is said to have made it possible for TV networks and content owners to develop, manage, distribute, and monetize live, linear, and on-demand channels across cable, OTT, and free ad-supported streaming TV platforms around the world.
13. Oxyzo (Fintech)
In March 2022, Oxyzo Financial Services received $200 million in external capital, reputedly the largest series-A funding ever for an Indian firm.
Oxyzo became a unicorn after that funding, with the fresh financing co-led by Alpha Wave Global and Tiger Global, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, and Creation Investments, according to Oxyzo CEO Ruchi Kalra.
She and her husband, Asish Mohapatra, are the first Indian couple to own a unicorn each. Asish’s OfBusiness, formerly known as OFB Tech Pvt., supplies small and medium-sized businesses with bulk raw materials such as steel, diesel, food grains, and industrial chemicals. According to Mohapatra, when SoftBank and others reportedly invested in April 2021, the company’s valuation had surpassed $1 billion.
14. Games 24×7(Gaming platform)
According to a Business Today story, multi-game platform Games24x7 raised $75 million in March 2022, valuing it at $2.5 billion, in a fundraising round led by Malabar Investments.
According to the report, Games24x7 is the third gaming start-up to reach a billion-dollar valuation, following Dream 11 and Mobile Premier League.
Games24x7 is based in Mumbai and has offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi, Miami, and Philadelphia. It was founded in 2006 by Trivikraman Thampy, an engineering alumnus of IIT Bombay, and Bhavin Pandya, an engineering alumnus of Purdue University. According to the report, the company’s products include RummyCircle, an online rummy game, My11Circle (a fantasy platform), and U Games (a portfolio of casual games).
15. Open (Neobanking startup)
Open, a Bengaluru-based neo banking startup, raised $50 million in a Series D investment round led by IIFL last month, valuing it at a billion dollars.
Existing investors including as Temasek, Tiger Global, and 3one4 Capital also contributed to the fundraising. Neobank Open announced in a statement that it had reached a $1 billion valuation, making it India’s 100th unicorn.
Former PayU and Citrus Pay member Anish Achuthan, along with his wife Mabel Chacko and brother Ajeesh Achuthan, established the Google and Visa-backed business Open in 2017.
16. Physics Wallah (Edtech)
When edtech firm Physics Wallah raised $100 million in its first funding round last week, it became India’s 101st unicorn. According to an ET story, the company is worth $1.1 billion, according to a statement released last week.
Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwar founded the edtech startup Physics Wallah, also known as PW, in 2016 as a YouTube channel, and later developed the app and website in 2020. According to a statement from PW, the funds will be used for business expansion, branding, the opening of more offline learning centres, and the introduction of new course offerings.
17. Purplle (Beauty & personal care products retailer)
Purplle, an online beauty and personal care products retailer, became India’s 102nd unicorn just two days after edtech platform Physics Wallah became the country’s 101st unicorn. Purplle raised $33 million from Paramark Ventures last week, valuing the company at $1.1 billion.
The round included existing investors Premji Invest, Blume Ventures, and Kedaara Capital. The company has raised a total of $215 million, including the most recent round. Goldman Sachs and Verlinvest were among its prior investors.
Purplle stated that the funds would be used for marketing, advertising, and brand and technology strengthening.