10 Top Unicorns in India

CEO of a unicorn startup in India.

By definition, a unicorn startup or company is a private enterprise with a valuation of over $1 billion, representing the rarity of these types of successful ventures, and with over 100 of these unicorns in India, the country is emerging as a hotspot for unicorn startups.

India’s booming startup ecosystem has been churning out these unicorns at an impressive pace. The country is currently home to over 100 unicorn startups, and forecasts suggest that this figure will skyrocket to over 1,000 in just a few years. 

With an expected 10x increase on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to get familiar with some of the fastest up-and-coming companies within India. Let’s take a closer look and dive into some of these startups to get a deeper understanding of their success.

Best Unicorn Startups in India

Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up India’s unicorn startups that startup lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow. 

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

1. Zepto

  • Founders: Aadit Palicha, Kaivalya V.
  • Founded In: 2020
  • Valuation: $1.4 Billion
  • Investors Include: Goodwater Capital, StepStone Group, Y Combinator Continuity Fund

Leading Indian grocery delivery startup Zepto has revolutionized the local market by promising fast 10-minute grocery delivery. With its network of cloud stores and micro warehouses located in dense urban areas, Zepto competes against established players like Swiggy, Grofers, Dunzo, and BigBasket, providing quick commerce deliveries in under 45 minutes. 

By rapidly expanding its cloud stores and workforce, Zepto focuses on quick, efficient, and reliable service to meet the soaring demand for online grocery shopping, which is projected to reach $5 billion by 2025.

2. Physics Wallah

  • Founders: Alakh Pandey, Prateek Maheshwari
  • Founded In: 2014
  • Valuation: $1.1 Billion
  • Investors Include: iNeuron.ai

As an exciting educational platform, Physics Wallah has set a goal to help millions of students prepare for exams like JEE and NEET through live and interactive lectures. With experienced teachers and comprehensive study materials, this platform ensures that students grasp complex concepts easily and develop problem-solving skills. 

Their regular tests allow students to track progress and experience a range of exam questions, and with Physicswallah, students learning remotely can access educational resources at their fingertips and excel academically.

3. LeadSquared

  • Founders: Anand Kumar, Nilesh Patel, Prashant Singh, Sudhakar Gorti, Sukhbir Kalsi
  • Founded In: 2011
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors Include: Westbridge Capital, International Finance Corporation, Gaja Capital

LeadSquared is a cutting-edge sales solution and marketing automation platform aimed at improving efficiency and productivity across various industries. Providing industry-specific CRM solutions to areas such as education, healthcare, lending, and more, the platform reduces lead turnaround time and ensures a 100% response rate. 

With its no-code interface, LeadSquared transforms sales processes and increases sales velocity. Proven to achieve up to 50% more loan sales, LeadSquared is an innovative tool for streamlining sales and marketing operations.

4. ElasticRun

  • Founders: Sandeep Deshmukh, Saurabh Nigam, Shitiz Bansal
  • Founded In: 2016
  • Valuation: $1.4 Billion
  • Investors Include: Goldman Sachs, SoftBank Vision Fund, Avatar Venture Partners

Providing an exceptional B2B ecommerce solution, ElasticRun has unlocked unprecedented direct access to rural consumers for FMCG and grocery brands. Their extensive network connects brands to 10 million+ small stores in rural India. 

By using its unique logistics network, ElasticRun allows ecommerce companies like Amazon & Flipkart to reach rural customers. Additionally, it empowers banking institutions to extend financial services to these areas. ElasticRun continues to revolutionize last-mile delivery and provide brands with valuable real-time consumption data in India.

5. DealShare

  • Founders: Rajat Shikhar, Sankar Bora, Sourjyendu Medda, Vineet Rao
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Valuation: $1.6 Billion
  • Investors Include: Tiger Global Management, Alpha Wave Global

DealShare is at the forefront of digital shopping innovation in India. With a base of over 94 million customers and its operations running in over 94 Indian cities, this social ecommerce company has been revolutionizing online shopping by predominantly focusing on providing affordable online shopping platforms in eight different Indian languages; even now, it’s making headway in opening the digital market to the masses. 

From featuring local deals to providing tailored catalogs in vernacular languages, DealShare’s fundamental objective is to make online shopping simple and more accessible. The company also fosters and helps support local small- to medium-sized businesses and is making waves by hiring new talent to further enhance the online shopping experience and enrich the lives of Indians, demonstrating a clear commitment to domestic growth and development.

6. XpressBees

  • Founders: Amitava Saha, Supam Maheshwari
  • Founded In: 2015
  • Valuation: $1.2 Billion
  • Investors Include: Investcorp, Avendus Future Lenders, Blackstone Group

XpressBees represents a force to be reckoned with within India’s logistics industry, offering a wide range of solutions ranging from end-to-end supply chain management to 3PL services. Covering over 20,000 PIN codes throughout India, this startup has its services connected to over 52 airports across the nation. 

Beyond their impressive geographical reach, XpressBees provides around-the-clock order fulfillment and swift delivery for ecommerce customers. The company prides itself on personalized service and reliability, as evidenced by its partnerships with major ecommerce companies such as Snapdeal, Paytm Mall, and Meesho. With the capacity to handle over 3 million shipments a day across a network of 3,000 offices and service centers, XpressBees showcases its commitment to efficiency and customer satisfaction.

7. Open

  • Founders: Ajeesh Achuthan, Anish Achuthan, Deena Jacon, Mabel Chacko
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors Include: IIFL Finance, Temasek Holdings

Open offers an all-in-one platform where business owners can manage their payments in a streamlined and efficient manner, and is on the way to reshaping business finance. Users can connect their current accounts, create invoices, reconcile payments with accounting software, and even track bills from a single dashboard.

Open takes the lead in providing a comprehensive overview of banking, payments, and accounting practices in one platform, simplifying the business financial management process. It supports GST-compliant invoicing, automated payables tracking, and a variety of digital payment methods, making vendor payments and financial reconciliations a breeze. The platform also ensures businesses receive their settlements directly into their bank accounts, further simplifying financial processes.

8. Games24x7

  • Founders: Bhavin Pandya, Trivikraman Thampy
  • Founded In: 2006
  • Valuation: $2.5 Billion
  • Investors Include: Malabar Investment Advisors, Tiger Global Management, The Raine Group

At the crossroads of the gaming and tech industry in India, Games24x7 is a firm that’s the perfect example of marketplace innovation. By leveraging data science and machine learning, this company delivers personalized gaming experiences for its users. With a focus on understanding player behavior through data analytics, it ensures a seamless user experience. 

This startup is celebrated for its successful online platforms like RummyCircle and My11Circle, which have redefined fantasy sports in India. But there’s more – they don’t only limit themselves to Indian users, as their U Games studio is a hub of creativity developing casual games for the global market. They also invest in early-stage startups, providing resources and advice to budding entrepreneurs. Games24x7 has a robust technology framework that ensures smooth experiences at scale for players, ultimately solidifying itself as a leader in the gaming industry in India and beyond.

9. Darwinbox

  • Founders: Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti, Rohit Chennamaneni
  • Founded In: 2015
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors Include: State Bank of India, Microsoft, Salesforce Ventures

Darwinbox stands as a revolutionary HR management software that’s reshaping how enterprises operate their HR functions. As a comprehensive, innovative solution, Darwinbox focuses on enriching the employee experience, elevating productivity, and promoting self-service capabilities. 

From helping companies rank among “Greatest Places to Work” lists to accelerating scale-up plans through a mobile-first HRMS, Darwinbox shows a remarkable knack for efficiency and effectiveness. Darwinbox’s globally recognized HCM solution, which outshines competitors like SAP and Oracle, is servicing over 850 enterprises across 116 countries and impacting 2.2 million employees. Their integrated HRMS platform provides a seamless employee and HR experience, proving to be instrumental in facilitating digital transformation across organizations worldwide.

10. Oxyzo

  • Founders: Asish Mohapatra, Bhuvan Gupta, Ruchi Kalra
  • Founded In: 2016
  • Valuation: $1 Billion
  • Investors Include: Alpha Wave Global, Norwest Venture Partners, Tiger Global Management

Oxyzo has emerged as a pioneering financial solution provider geared towards SMEs. Through their financial solutions, they help businesses in matters ranging from procuring raw materials to fulfilling short-term fiscal needs. Oxyzo’s distinct approach lies in its use of technology platforms and digitized application processes for transparency and competitive charges. 

They envision transforming SMEs into large enterprises by providing credit lines that bolster operations, increase revenue, and enhance profit margins. Customers who are currently with them appreciate Oxyzo’s working capital solutions for their constructive contribution to improved liquidity and cash flow management. 

As Oxyzo continues to refine the loan application process and ensure quick disbursals, they’re often praised by their users for enabling businesses to expand and profit through improved cash flow management.

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