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Indian Startups that entered the unicorn category in 2022

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India is one of the most vibrant and innovative countries in the world, and its startup ecosystem is no exception. Indian startups have been making waves in the global scene, and in 2022 they reached a major milestone. Several Indian startups have achieved the coveted “unicorn” status, meaning they have achieved a valuation of $1 billion or more. This is a huge achievement for these companies and one that will undoubtedly open up even more opportunities for growth and expansion. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the Indian startups that entered the unicorn category in 2022, their success stories, and how they achieved such success in such a short amount of time.

1. Shiprocket

Established in2017
FoundersSaahil Goel and Vishesh Khurana
CategoryE-commerce logistics
LocationDelhi

Shiprocket provides an end-to-end solution for e-commerce logistics and order fulfillment in India. It is a platform that helps online retailers to manage their entire logistics and fulfillment process. It provides easy access to multiple shipping services, enabling customers to compare rates and choose the best option. Additionally, it also offers a range of features such as order tracking, automated returns, and fulfillment solutions.

Since its launch, Shiprocket has overgrown and is now one of the most popular e-commerce logistics platforms in India. As of 2022, the startup serves over 1,00,000 merchants and delivers packets to more than 66 million consumers annually. In addition, it has partnered with 17+ courier partners to provide a wide range of services.

In April 2022, Shiprocket became India’s first e-commerce logistics startup to enter the prestigious unicorn club. It raised $33.5 million (about Rs 270 crore) in a funding round co-led by Temasek and Lightrock India, valuing the company at $1.2 billion. 

In the coming years, Shiprocket is expected to become a major player in the e-commerce logistics space. With its innovative solutions, it is well-positioned to capitalize on the booming e-commerce industry in India.

(Source: Economic times, Business Standards)

2. Purplle

Established in2012
FoundersManish Taneja and Rahul Dash
CategoryBeauty & Personal Care
LocationMumbai

Purplle joined the unicorn club in June 2022. Purplle has raised $33 mi­llion in a funding round led by South Korean investor Paramark Ventures, bringing its total funding to  $1.1 billion.

The most latest round brought Purplle’s total investment to over $215 million. Sequoia Capital and Goldman Sachs are two more investors in the company. Purplle had previously received four rounds of funding from investors, finishing in 2021 with a $140 million Series D.

Purplle is one of the fastest-growing beauty and personal care e-commerce marketplaces in India. With seven million monthly active users, over 1,000 brands, 60,000 products, and five private direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, the company has expanded quickly over the years. It offers a wide range of beauty products including L’Oréal, Maybelline, and Nivea. 

In addition to its e-commerce business, Purplle has also ventured into the beauty services market. It has partnered with over 6,000 beauty salons and spas across India and offers customers a wide range of beauty services from its platform.

The Indian startup landscape is growing and Purplle is a great example of how technology can be used to make a difference in people’s lives. With its strong presence in the beauty and personal care industry, Purplle is well-positioned to continue to grow and reach new heights.

(Source: Business Standards, Inventicia)

3. ElasticRun

Established in2016
FoundersSandeep Deshmukh, Saurabh Nigam, and Shitiz Bansal
CategoryLogistics
LocationPune

ElasticRun is a technological platform that helps businesses in reaching little Kirana stores in remote locations by extending the direct distribution networks in rural areas of FMCG companies. Additionally, this company interacts with banks and other financial organizations, providing them with access to underserved SME customers through its Kirana network. ElasticRun assists Kirana companies in fine-tuning their marketing strategies. This startup joined the unicorn club in February 2022.

In a fresh round of fundraising sponsored by Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, it raised $300 million. Additional participants included the New York-based Goldman Sachs, Proses Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), Innoven Capital, and Chimera Investment, a division of the Abu Dhabi Royal Group. The company was valued at $1.5 billion in the Series E round. The company raised $75 million in a Series D capital round led by Avataar Venture Partners approximately a year prior to the current investment. Proses Ventures and Kalaari Capital, among others, took part in this round. This investment increased the startup’s worth by 3.75 times to about $400 million.

ElasticRun is an inspiring example of how Indian startups can make a mark in the global startup ecosystem. With its innovative platform and cutting-edge technology, it has been able to create a huge impact in the logistics industry. The startup has demonstrated that with the right idea and the right execution, Indian startups can make a big difference.

(Source: CBI Insights)

4. Games24x7

Established in2006
FoundersBhavin Pandya and Trivikraman Thampy
CategoryDigital Games
LocationMumbai

Games24x7, a gaming startup is a home to well-known brands like the online card game RummyCircle and the sports fantasy game My11 Circle. According to the gaming website, RummyCircle has more than 30 million registered members and adds 50 thousand new users every day. My11Circle, its fantasy cricket gaming product, has received 6 million downloads overall since its launch.

Games24x7 raised $75 Mn in its most recent round, which was headed by the Malabar, India Fund, to become the 13th Indian unicorn of 2022. Other participants included the US-based hedge fund Tiger Global, an existing investor. The business will get the investment in two installments, the first of which will be a $32 million investment, with the remaining funds coming from the same group of investors.

According to calculations by Inc42, the valuation of the Mumbai-based business increased by 3X from $692 Mn in June of last year to $2.1 Bn. Nearly a year before the new investment, it had raised $18 Mn from individuals such as Jonathan Sawyer and Frederick Emmer Pollock.

Games24x7 has built a strong foothold in India’s gaming market with its innovative and engaging platform. It has achieved success in a short span of time and is now looking to expand its presence in international markets. With its strong user base and impressive growth, Games24x7 is well-positioned to make a big impact in the gaming industry.

(Source: Inc42)

5. LEAD

Established in2012
FoundersSumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah
CategoryEd-tech
LocationMumbai

LEAD is an ed-tech startup that has become one of the first Indian startups to enter the coveted ‘unicorn’ category in 2022. LEAD has made significant strides in revolutionizing the education sector in India. It gives schools the ability to create an integrated teaching and learning system by combining technology, curriculum, and pedagogy. After BYJU, Unacademy, Eruditas, UpGrad, and Vedantu, it is the sixth ed-tech unicorn in the nation. LEAD asserts that it is working with more than 5,000 schools in 500 Indian cities, totaling more than 2 million children.

The company was valued at $1.1 Bn after raising $100 Mn in a round led by WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures in January. The company had received funding five times, with the most recent round occurring in April 2021. Over the course of 5 rounds, LEAD School has raised a total of $166 Mn in investment. Only the e-commerce ($10.7 Bn) and fintech ($8 Bn) sectors attracted more investment in 2021, making ed-tech startups the third-most financed Indian startup sector.

(Source: Business Standards)

6. Amagi

Established in2008
FoundersBaskar Subramanian, Srinivasan KA, and Srividhya Srinivasan
CategorySaaS, Mediatech
LocationBangalore

Again in 2022, the Indian startup scene witnessed the entry of Amagi, a cloud-based solutions provider for broadcasting and television, into the unicorn club. This milestone makes Amagi the first Indian pure-play cloud broadcast and OTT services company to achieve unicorn status.

Amagi took 14 years to become a unicorn. Accel, Norwest Venture Partners, and PremjiInvest are the key investors in Amagi. The total funding raised by the company is $240.2 million over 6 funding rounds.

Amagi has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way broadcasters, content owners, and streaming platforms deliver television content. Its cloud-based platform enables customers to launch, distribute, and monetize content via OTT and broadcast channels while ensuring a unified brand and content experience.

Today, Amagi powers some of the world’s leading broadcasters and streaming platforms, including Turner, NBCUniversal, Discovery,  USA Today, Vice Media, and Viacom18. Amagi supports 700+ content brands, 800+ playout chains, and over 2100 channel deliveries on its platform in over 40 countries. 

With the massive growth of digital content consumption, Amagi is poised to be the catalyst for the next wave of innovation in the OTT and broadcast streaming industry.

Source: Yourstory, StartupTalky

7. XPressbees

Established in2015
FoundersAmitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari
CategoryLogistics
LocationPune

XPressbees is an Indian logistics startup that entered the unicorn club in 2022. This startup was established after being spun off from eCommerce giant FirstCry.  XPressbees is the first logistics company in India to offer an integrated multi-modal platform that provides end-to-end logistics solutions. The company provides its customers with a wide range of services including full truckload, e-commerce, express delivery, warehousing, and enterprise solutions. 

Xpressbees raised $300 million in a Series F fundraising round that was primarily spearheaded by Blackstone Growth, ChrysCapital, and TPG Growth. The firm raised about $500 million in total, valued the company at $1.2 billion.

XPressbees has a presence in over 450 cities across India and is continuing to expand its reach. XPressbees has been able to grow exponentially since its inception due to its focus on customer satisfaction and innovative approach to technology. The company is currently handling more than 3 million shipments per day and has seen a growth of over 100% year-on-year in the last three financial years.

7. Darwinbox

Established in2015
FoundersJayant Paleti, Rohit Chennamaneni, and Chaitanya Peddi
CategoryCloud-based HR technology platform 
LocationHyderabad

Darwinbox offers a comprehensive suite of HR software solutions to manage employee operations. 

Darwinbox’s suite of HR software solutions is designed to help companies manage their employee operations, including employee onboarding, performance management, payroll and attendance management, recruitment, and compliance. It also offers analytics and insights to help companies improve their employee experience.

The company has seen tremendous growth since its inception, with over 1500 customers including the likes of Airtel, Swiggy, and Walmart. It has raised a total funding of $125M over 6 rounds. Their latest funding round was a Series D on Sep 29, 2022, for $6.02M from investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia India, and Tencent. 

Darwinbox is focused on creating an ecosystem of employee engagement and development and aims to be the go-to platform for HR solutions in India.

Source: Crunchbase

9. Livspace

Established in2014
FoundersAnuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma
CategoryInterior Design Software
LocationBangalore

LivSpace is an Indian home renovation and interior designing company which recently entered the Unicorn category. The company has become the first Indian home design and renovation start-up to join the unicorn club. 

LivSpace provides a wide range of services related to interior design, home design, home renovation, and more. The company enables customers to pick from various designs, customize them to their preferences, and get their dream home designed. It also provides customers with 3D walk-throughs and 360-degree views, so that they can virtually experience their homes before they are built.

LivSpace has served over 3 lakh customers with over 10,000 designs, and the number is growing steadily. LivSpace raised $180 million in a Series F round that was sponsored by American investment giant KKR & Co. In total, LivSpace has raised $450 million over its 10 fundraising rounds.

The company’s success is a testament to the potential of India’s start-up ecosystem and will serve as an inspiration to other budding entrepreneurs. LivSpace is set to revolutionize the home design industry in India, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for the company.

Source: Crunchbase

Find below some other Indian Startups that also joined the unicorn club in 2022

Company nameEstablished inLocationFoundersCategory
Open2017BengaluruAnish Achuthan, Ajeesh Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, and Deena JacobFintech
OneCard2019PuneAnurag Sinha, Rupesh Kumar & Vibhav Kirit HathiFintech
LeadSquared2011BengaluruNilesh Singh, Sudhakar Gorti, Prashant Singh, & Sukhbir KalsiEnterprisetech
CredAvenue2017ChennaiGaurav KumarFintech
Oxyzo2016GurgaonAsish Mohapatra & Ruchi KalraFintech
PhysicsWallah2020NoidaAlakh Pandey & Prateek Maheshwari Ed-tech
Hasura2018BengaluruTanmai Gopal & Rajoshi GhoshEnterprisetech
Fractal2000BengaluruSrikanth Velamakanni, Pranay Agrawal, Nirmal Palaparthi, Pradeep Suryanarayan, & Ramakrishna ReddyEnterprisetech
DealShare2018BengaluruVineet Rao, Sourjyendu Medda, Sankar Bora & Rajat ShikharE-commerce
Tata 1mg2015GurugramPrashant Tandon, Gaurav Agarwal, & Vikas ChauhanHealthtech
Apna2019BengaluruNimrit ParikhEnterprisetech

The Indian Startups are showing immense potential and proving to be a powerhouse for innovation. In the year 2022, the above Indian startups successfully entered the coveted unicorn club. This is a great achievement and shows the growth potential of the Indian startup ecosystem. With the right investments and support, the Indian startup industry will continue to grow and create more unicorns in the coming years.

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