Six years ago, when venture capitalist Aileen Lee coined the term “unicorn”—to define the extreme rarity of startups valued north of $1 billion—there were just 39 in the US and only three Indian unicorns. Today, the US and China are home to over 200 each, while India has roughly 30! 

Since mobile advertising company InMobi became the country’s first unicorn in 2011, there had been only the odd spotting. But in the past two years, Indian unicorns have smashed through the barn door—10 in 2018, while the class of 2019 has:

  1. Eyewear retailer Lenskart
  2. E-grocer BigBasket
  3. Fantasy gaming platform Dream11
  4. Cab aggregator Ola’s EV company Mission: Electric
  5. Logistics startup Rivigo
  6. Logistics startup Delhivery
  7. Cloud data protection firm Druva
  8. Enterprise contract management firm Icertis
  9. Healthcare analytics company CitiusTech


The unicorn count varies, with exclusions including companies not based in India, or if the $1 billion tag came in an IPO, Or an acquisition, like CitiusTech.


Savio D'Souza

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