6 Indian Unicorns and Their Multi-Mega Acquisition Tales

Acquiring a company when you have the resources and money is one of the easiest ways for start-ups to accelerate business growth

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The journey of start-ups is becoming more predictable day after day. Their first step after launching is to increase the valuation; they look for million-billion dollar valuations. Once, their funding is in place, they look at expansion, both in the domestic market as well as international market. Initially, the routine was to outsource services but now mergers and acquisitions have garnered greater importance. Start-ups, particularly, in the last few years have gone all out when it comes to M&A. According to a media report, Acquiring a company when you have the resources and money is one of the easiest ways for start-ups to accelerate business growth.

Here are 6 Indian unicorns and their acquisitions.

Zomato Official Facebook


The foodtech unicorn has gone all-out to transform every inch of human imagination into reality. After giving fierce competition to its rival, Swiggy, Zomato has made acquisitions and has monstrously expanded. It has reportedly acquired 12 startups globally. Drone start-up Tech  Eagle, Seattle-based Urbanspoon, Tongue Stun are some of the notable ones.

Flipkart Facebook


Flipkart, got the addition of “former” to its unicorn status after it got acquired by Warren Buffet-led Walmart. However, in the early days before the acquisition, Flipkart was and still is a fearsome start-up that acquired e-commerce small start-ups like Myntra and Jabong. The deal benefitted everyone with Flipkart benefitting from the variety the acquisitions offered and the latter capitalized on the former unicorn’s reach and engagement. Flipkart has done a total of 13 acquisitions, E-bay being the most recent of these.


Oyo has been not been as aggressive as its counterparts when it comes to M&A. It has acquired 5 firms in alls including co-working space Innov8, Leisure Group (for a whopping $415 million), Weddingz etc. Very little is known about these deals except for the deal with Leisure Group. Oyo is rolling out its M&A strategies differently but nevertheless, it is very much in the race. Recently, it was reported that Oyo Hotels & Homes is in talks to acquire Qianyu, a midsize hotel brand in China. No confirmation has come in yet regarding the same.

Paytm Wikipedia


Paytm has done 11 acquisitions in all. It did its first acquisition within 4.5 years of its inception. Paytm is one of the fastest companies to have done an acquisition. Near.in, EduKart, Nearbuy etc are some of the popular acquisitions done by the digital payments company.
Quikr Wikipedia


Quickr has been one of the most aggressive unicorns in M&A strategy with 15 acquisitions in eleven years, a feat not many unicorns can boast of. Among its acquisitions, GoZefo, HDFC Realty, HDFC Developers are the notable ones. Quikr’s acquisition of CommonFloor created some stir in the Indian business ecosystem. The real estate portal which was acquired by the Indian classified advertising platform saw its three founders quitting within just one year into the deal.  

Ola Wikipedia


The cab aggregator is another example of an Indian unicorn that pumped big pennies in M&A deals though the total number of acquisitions done is 5 including Ridlr, Geotagg, TaxiForSure.com etc. Ola’s acquisition of FoodPanda gave it a comfortable position in the Indian food market give head-on competition to U.S.A-based Uber and its food-eating initiative, Uber Eats.

While these were some of the big guns of the Indian start-up ecosystem who made several significant acquisitions, there are also unicorns like Swiggy and ReNew Power who have only 4 and 2 acquisitions respectively. Some unicorns in the Indian start-up ecosystem don't have that robust a strategy when it comes to M&A.

Editor's Note:

To know more about unicorns eyeing acquisitions, don't forget to join the SEALING THE DEAL: THE HOW, WHAT AND WHY OF EXIT panel of our Entrepreneur show. Entrepreneur 2019 is the flagship annual event of Entrepreneur Media. It is the final destination for entrepreneurs, investors, disruptors and innovators where they discuss, debate and dissect what the future holds in a vibrant atmosphere. In its Ninth Edition, Entrepreneur Media brings together the Movers and Shakers of India and Asia Pacific.