Sequoia Capital India, the most active investor in the country, currently owns the highest number of companies in its portfolio that have the potential to turn into a unicorn as early as 2023 or in the next four years, according to a Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021.
A startup founded in the 2000s that has reached a valuation of less than $1 billion and greater than $200 million, but not yet listed on a public exchange, have been considered for this list. The list says that there are 86 such startups in India at present.
The list further breaks down the startups with a valuation of $200-$500 million as Cheetahs and those with $500 million and less than $1 billion as Gazelles. There are 32 Gazelles and 54 Cheetahs with online retail store Zilingo the most valuable Gazelle and online furniture platform Pepperfry the most valuable Cheetah
These startups have raised $12.1 billion in funding from more than 300 investors.
With 37 startups, Sequoia is the leading investor in the list. These startups with Sequoia as an investor include Zilingo, gaming startup Mobile Premier League, internet kitchen platform Rebel Foods, consumer goods brand Mamaearth and digital payments firm Mobikwik.
These startups with Sequoia as an investor are also listed as the top 10 on Hurun's list of future unicorns. The local arm of the Menlo Park-based firm has been the most active investor in India, retaining its pole position in the first half of this year as well.
Sequoia was followed by US based investment firm Tiger Global Management with 18 investments including pre-owned cars platform Spinny that is also among the top 10 future unicorns in the list.
Tiger Global, an early backer in Flipkart, has been super aggressive in its investments in India this year, creating unicorns in the process. In the first half of this year itself, Tiger Global made 20 bets in India which is equivalent to what it did in 2020.
The future unicorn list gains significance as India has produced unicorns at a breakneck speed this year, having already produced 25 unicorns so far as compared with just 11 last year. India added three unicorns every month over the last year. Last month alone saw investors building eight unicorns.
This means that India is home to the third highest unicorns in the world after the US and China with 396 and 277, respectively. India, whose unicorns are now worth over $168 billion, is followed by the UK and Germany with 32 and 18, respectively.
The Hurun report explained that ecommerce, fintech and software as a service (SaaS) comprised 49% of India's future unicorns. It also said that the average age of founders in the list was 39 years. And at 25, the founders of gaming start-up Zupee, Dilsher Singh and Siddhant Saurabh, are the youngest in the list. The oldest startup co-founder in the list is K Satyanarayana of Ecom Express. A total of 15 start-up cofounders are above the age of 50.
The report also said that only 12 startups on the list are cofounded by women entrepreneurs.