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73 of India’s 100 unicorns have at least one founder from IIT

A majority of India’s 100 unicorns, most of which were crowned unicorns only over the last two years, have founders with an IIT background.

May 13, 2022 / 01:37 PM IST

In his book, The Golden Tap, serial entrepreneur Kashyap Deorah had described how Lee Fixel, a former partner with Tiger Global, used to filter potential startups on the basis of the founders' caste and JEE (advanced) ranks.

Only candidates with high JEE (joint entrance examination) ranks make it to India’s premier technical institutes -- the central-government owned Indian Institutes of Technology, commonly known as IITs.

“Fixel preferred North Indian Marwari banias with single or double-digit JEE ranks who were young and first-time entrepreneurs. An analysis had probably revealed that such entrepreneurs were the best performers in the companies Tiger liked funding,” Deorah had written.

Fixel had led negotiations for funding rounds for Tiger Global in unicorns like Flipkart and Ola, which were among the New York-based hedge fund’s largest bets in India.