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India has 100 unicorns, a Credit Suisse report with unique methodology claims

The growing number of unicorns, and the increasing pace of reaching that valuation can be attributed to a buoyant funding environment over the years.

Mumbai / March 15, 2021 / 04:20 PM IST

India has a 100 unicorns- private firms valued over a billion dollars- a new report with unique methodology claims, more than double the 35-40 that most other reports and venture capitalists claim.

The report from Credit Suisse includes companies which are close to the unicorn mark but are not quite there yet, as well as sectors far away from technology including pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery and manufacturing.

Unicorns are generally defined as technology startups which have attained the billion dollar valuation while still being privately held- generally within 10-12 years. In India, these typically include companies in sectors such as e-commerce, payments, ride-hailing, tech-enabled logistics, education and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

The Credit Suisse report includes all these, and broadens its scope to companies including but not restricted to Parle Products, Vishal Mega Mart, Wonder Cement, ReNew Power Ventures, Serum Institute of India and National Stock Exchange.

The report says that it includes not only companies valued at over a billion dollar, but also companies whose FY20 earnings, at the average valuation of listed peers, would give them a valuation of over a billion dollar, and where its last funding round was at less than unicorn valuation, but business momentum has been strong since, implying higher valuations.


Companies in this category include investment app Groww, education firm Eruditus, social commerce firm Meesho, content firm MX Player, and QR code aggregator BharatPe.

“We have spread our net wider, looking beyond the normal technology or ‘technology enabled’ sectors, which are expected to have unicorns but also in conventional sectors like non-banking finance, bio-tech and pharmaceuticals, modern trade, consumer goods as well as infrastructure,” the report said.

“We screened for unlisted firms for large profit pools and strong growth, tabulating the list of investments by major private equity (PE) firms, digging into deals news flow, and then meeting several PE firms to make sure the list was comprehensive,” it added.

Two investors Moneycontrol spoke to disagreed with the methodology, but acknowledged that India having 100 private companies valued at over a billion dollars is still a very positive sign. They requested not to be named.

The growing number of unicorns, and the increasing pace of reaching that valuation can be attributed to a buoyant funding environment over the years. According to the report, private market fundraising has exceeded public fundraising for each of the last ten years. “This may not be a permanent phenomenon, given generally the much larger liquidity and size of public markets, but is definitely not a fluke either,” it said.



As per the report, these are the 100 unicorns by sector-

Ecommerce- BookMyShow, FirstCry, CarDekho, Cars24,, Flipkart, Lenskart, Nykaa, BigBasket, Urban Company.

Education- Byju’s, Unacademy, Eruditus, Sri Chaitanya. Energy- CLP Wind Farms, Greenko, Mytrah Energy, ReNew Power

Financials- Aptus Finance BharatPe, BillDesk, Five Star Business Finance, Groww, Hero Fincorp, National Stock Exchange, Paytm, PhonePe, Pine Labs, Razorpay, Star Health, Zerodha.

IT/Tech- CitiusTech, Dailyhunt, Glance, Global Logic, Grey Orange, Headspin, InMobi, Meesho, MX Player, Sharechat, Synechron, UST.

SaaS- BrowserStack, Chargebee, Druva, Eightfold, Freshworks, HighRadius, IBS Software, Icertis, Innovaccer, Postman, Zenoti, Zoho.

Healthcare- Anthem Biosciences, Bharat Biotech, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Hetero Labs, Intas Pharmaceuticals, Macleods Pharmaceuticals, Manipal Hospitals, PharmEasy, Serum Insititute of India.

Discretionary- Allied Blenders and Distillers, D’ Decor, GRT Jewellers, Joyalukkas, KurlOn, Oyo Rooms, Piramal Glass, RateGain, Vini Cosmetics, Vishal Mega Mart.

Logistics- Delhivery, Ecom Express, Essar Ports, Udaan. Mobility- Ola, Ola Electric, Zoomcar.

Others- Wonder Cement, Deccan Fine Chemicals, Gharda Chemicals, Enzen Global Solutions, Mu Sigma, Digit, Policybazaar, Haldiram’s, Parle Products, RSPL, Altria Convergence, Bhilosa Industries, Mobile Premier League, Dream11, Games 24/7.
M. Sriram
first published: Mar 15, 2021 04:12 pm

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