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Hurun finds 51 ‘gazelles’ and 71 ‘cheetahs’ in Indian startup ecosystem

There are 122 startups in India who are likely to enter the unicorn club in India, according to a report by Hurun. The ones which may achieve a billion dollar valuation in two years are termed as gazelles and those who are likely to do so in four years are called cheetahs in the report

June 29, 2022 / 09:11 PM IST
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There are 122 startups in India who are likely to enter the country's unicorn club, according to a report by research company Hurun. It added that there are 51 ‘gazelles’, or startups that are likely to become a unicorn in the next two years, and 71 ‘cheetahs’, or those that could achieve the milestone in the next four years.

The evaluation is based on regulatory filings, feedback from other entrepreneurs, and some of the active India-focused VC funds and angel investors, Hurun said.

A unicorn is a company valued at $1 billion.

The Hurun report listed the likes of Zomato-backed logistics startup Shiprocket, quick commerce company Zepto, electric vehicle maker Ather Energy, mobility startup Rapido and agritech company Ninjacart, among others, as the top contenders for entering the unicorn club.

There are 15 companies in the list of 122 that have women co-founders. Women entrepreneurs are at the helm of five companies who may enter the unicorn club in the next two years and 10 startups which could do so in the next four. Pratilipi is the only company in the index with two women co-founders.


The youngest start-up founder in the index is Kaivalya Vohra, aged 19, of Zepto. His co-founder Aadit Palicha is just months older at 20.

The oldest co-founder in the index is K Satyanarayana, aged 61, of Ecom Express. The average age of Indian start-up founders in the index is 38.

The fintech sector contributed 13 gazelles to the index, followed by SaaS with five, while edtech, e-commerce and shared economy with four each. Shiprocket led the Gazelle pack, followed by Turtlemint, Zepto, Ather Energy and Vivriti Capital.

Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher, Hurun India said, “While working on the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022 we realized that the start-up ecosystem in the country is growing at a never-before pace. In just one year, the number of unicorns in the country has grown by 65 percent, the number of gazelles has grown by 59 percent to 51, and the number of Cheetahs has grown by 31 percent to 71.” 

The cumulative valuation of gazelles featured in the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future  percent unicorn Index 2022 increased by more than 54 percent year-on-year to $31 billion. Cumulatively, the 51 startups in the index have received $10.1 billion of funding.

Adding colour to the report, Hurun said: “Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on land over short distances and have exceptional stride length. They are nimble at high speeds, and the length between their steps is six to seven meters and four strides are completed per second.

“Hurun classification has been validated in this year’s report as six cheetahs from the last year's index, skipped the gazelle stage, and directly entered the unicorn club,” it added.

The estimated valuations of ‘cheetahs’ in the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022 range from $200 million to $500 million. India is home to 71 cheetahs that raised a cumulative funding of $7.7 billion. 

The cumulative valuation of cheetahs featured in ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2022 increased by 13 percent year-on-year to $17.9 billion. With 14 startups in the grouping, fintech led the Cheetah index, followed by e-commerce with 10.

The 122 future unicorns in the list employ 82,300 people, with an average of 675. The report said that 22 of the future unicorns have more than 1,000 employees each, led by Square Yards with 5,390 employees and Ecom Express with 3,600 employees.
Deepsekhar Choudhury Deepsekhar covers tech and startups at Moneycontrol. Tweets at @deepsekharc
first published: Jun 29, 2022 09:01 pm
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