India Will Have 122 New Unicorns in the Next Two to Four Years: Hurun India Report

Hurun Research Institute today released the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022

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The Hurun Research Institute has identified 122 future Unicorns in India from 25 cities as part of ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022 which was unveiled today. According to the list, Bengaluru continues to be the unicorn capital of India with 46 Unicorns, with Delhi NCR and Mumbai trailing at second and third spots with 25 and 16 Unicorns respectively.

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India is currently home to 84 Unicorns, 51 Gazelles and 71 Cheetahs, as against 51 Unicorns, 32 Gazelles and 54 Cheetahs in the 2021 index, it said.

The index has classified companies as would-be Unicorns (those founded after 2000 and valued at least $1 billion), Gazelles (those most likely to become Unicorns in the following two years), and Cheetahs (startups that could go unicorn in the next four years).

The prospective Unicorns featured on the list were founded on average in 2015, with the great majority selling software and services and only 17 per cent selling physical goods. 37 per cent are business-to-business (B2B) sellers, while 63 per cent are consumer-facing. Financial services, logistics, healthcare, and education were being disrupted by Future Unicorns.

"India has emerged as the third-largest ecosystem for startups after US and China, and saw a record 44 startups turning Unicorns in 2021. New ideas and innovations which have the potential to benefit millions of consumers are being incubated by the startup ecosystem," said Rajesh Saluja, CEO and MD, ASK Wealth Advisors Pvt Ltd at the launch.

"The ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn list showcases the leaders of tomorrow today. We shine the spotlight on Gazelles & Cheetahs, the rising stars of the startup ecosystem, and possibly, future Unicorns. 17 Gazelles and 7 Cheetahs from last year's list hit Unicorn valuation this year. Being a wealth manager of choice, for us, this report is not merely a compendium of startups, but a reflection of how founders are creating value. The current scrutiny of valuations in this ecosystem, we believe, will help build more sustainable business models in the long-term." he added.

"While compiling the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022, we discovered that the country's startup ecosystem is expanding at an unprecedented rate. In just one year, the number of Unicorns has increased by 65 per cent, the number of Gazelles has increased by 59 per cent to 51, and the number of Cheetahs has increased by 31 per cent to 71. Probably, the pandemic has accelerated the disruption of traditional businesses and fostered the emergence of startups. The ecosystem is gradually attaining the requisite maturity and resilience," said Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and chief researcher, Hurun India.

"There are some global economic concerns that could affect the valuations and capital-raising abilities of Indian startups'. Additionally, some Indian startups are implementing layoffs and cost-cutting measures, fuelling speculation of an ecosystem downturn. We believe there could be a short-term blip in the growth story, but the Indian startup ecosystem's long-term potential remains excellent and resilient. The pressure felt during the valuation process and the increased inspection of deliverables could help broaden the system's foundation," he added.