It’s raining tech unicorns in India with increasing digital adoption, says GlobalData

Following the news that online car selling platform CarDekho and digital payments company MobiKwik have joined the unicorn club in India;

Swati Verma, Associate Project Manager of Thematic Research at GlobalData, offers her view:

“India’s tech unicorn ecosystem is the third-largest in the world, behind only the US and China. Currently, the country boasts 48 tech unicorns with a combined valuation of $137bn. The Indian unicorn ecosystem has demonstrated resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, there were just eight new tech unicorn formations but 2021 has broken all records, with 27 startups achieving unicorn status so far this year. In October alone five startups become unicorns. The country is also home to two decacorns (unicorns valued ≥$10bn) Byju’s and Paytm.

“With a population of 1.3 billion and a smartphone penetration of 45%, India is one of the cheapest countries for mobile Internet worldwide. Digital adoption received a further boost from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tech startups are the biggest beneficiaries of this trend.

“Internet-driven themes such as e-commerce, fintech, and edtech saw strong growth amid the pandemic. Currently, 22 Indian unicorns operate in e-commerce, which is the top theme. These e-commerce unicorns are together worth a total of $52bn. Fintech is the next big theme with nine unicorns, which have an aggregate valuation of $35bn; followed by edtech with five unicorns, which are collectively worth $25bn.

“GlobalData expects the strong unicorn momentum to continue, and the unicorn club to grow by at least 15 tech unicorns in the next year. Cure Fit, Dunzo, Fresh to Home, Mamaearth, Xpressbees, Acko, Lendingkart, Practo, and Uable will achieve unicorn status soon.

“After Zomato’s successful initial public offering (IPO) on the Indian stock market, there is a crowded IPO pipeline. Paytm, Byju’s, Paytm, Oyo Rooms, Ola Cabs, and Policybazaar, Lenskart, Delhivery, Nykaa are the next big ones to watch.”

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