Indian startups reached new heights in 2018. Be it funding, innovation, scaling outside of the country — a lot of benchmarks were created last year.
From 1 in 2012, 10 in 2016, India now houses 26 unicorns of which over 10 were added in 2018 alone. These unicorns have secured more than $23.72 Bn in funding and hold a combined value of $73.49 Bn.
Inc42 DataLabs, the research wing of Inc42, in a recent analysis of the Indian startup ecosystem found that — based on the current pace and growth and other factors, India’s unicorn club will touch 100 mark by 2025.
Thus, as part of Inc42’s The State of The Indian Tech Startup Ecosystem Report 2018, we have come out with the list of 30 Indian soonicorns who have the potential to become unicorns by 2020.
Together, these 30 upcoming unicorns have raised $2.5 Bn funding so far. Of the total 30, 10 startups fall into the ecommerce category, seven in fintech and four in consumer services.
A broad geographical split of these soon-to-be-unicorns reveals that most of these tech startups – around 9 – are based out of Bengaluru and Delhi/ NCR each while Mumbai is breeding eight budding unicorns each.
Earlier as well, in its Indian tech startup funding report 2017, the Inc42 DataLabs predicted 34 tech startups to be the part of the unicorn club, of which 11 startups including BYJU’S, Paytm Mall, OYO, Swiggy, among others have already achieved the unicorn status in 2018.
Let’s take a look at the Indian soonicorns!!
Indian Tech Startups With Potential To Turn Unicorns By 2020
BankBazaar, an aggregation platform for loans, insurance, credit card, and other financial services, has emerged as a company to reckon with in the Indian fintech space. It provides users with essential information about financial products and enables them to compare them across various parameters and decide what suits them best. It was one of the first companies to provide a much-needed digital solution to the rigged Indian banking system.
In FY16-17, BankBazaar posted revenues of $10.5 Mn and cut its losses by 15% compared to the preceding financial year. It gets more than 50 Mn visits per quarter and has rolled out new products such as personal finance and paperless mutual funds on its platform.
As of December 2018, the company claims to have grown by 2X and there has been more than 100% growth in multiple categories with 100 Mn visits in the quarter ending on September 30, 2018.
Capillary Technologies is a leading cloud-based omnichannel engagement commerce solution company that enables retailers to intelligently engage with their customers. It is registered in Singapore, with a stronghold in India, Southeast Asia, MENA, and China, among other countries.
About 300 large paying enterprises and 500 SMBs across 30+ countries, including Pizza Hut, VF Brands, Walmart, Al-Futtaim, KFC, and others, use Capillary’s platform. The SaaS startup serves more than 300 Mn consumers and 25,000 stores.
In October 2016, it acquired ecommerce platform SellerworX in order to further strengthen its services. It also acquired a minority stake in customer management startup Exclusife and Fashalot, a location-based O2O fashion discovery platform.
CarDekho is one of the first movers among online automobile websites. It has more than 3,000 active dealers out of a 5,000-strong dealer network. Its insurance business covers more than 800 dealers, with over 450 offer financing services for used cars.
For the period ending March 2018, the startup reported a 40% surge in its revenue at $21.6 Mn (INR 160 Cr). The growth came soon after its insurance and finance businesses were launched.
CarDekho aims to build an entire ecosystem to enable consumers to have easy and complete access to not only purchase and sale of cars online but also to manage their entire ownership experience, including accessories, tyres, batteries, etc.
CarTrade is an online auto classifieds platform that provides buyers and sellers with a structured interface for buying and selling of new and used vehicles. CarTrade has 15 Mn unique customers per month, along with about 8,000 new and used car dealer partners. The platform lists more than 200,000 used cars for sale and auctions over 200,000 vehicles in the wholesale market every year.
CarTrade acquired a majority stake in Shriram Automall (January 2018) and Adroit Inspection (March 2017) to create India’s largest online vehicle transaction platform.
Cure.fit is a holistic healthcare platform with a focus on mind, body, diet and doctor care. Its portfolio of services includes Mind.fit, Cult.fit, Eat.fit and Care.fit. Eat.fit is a subscription-based nutritive food delivery vertical, Cult.fit offers customised workout programmes to members, while Mind.fit promotes mental wellbeing. It recently launched its clinic chain, Care.fit.
The company aims to expand its offline footprint to 1,000 centres from 80 centres within three years. By 2022, Cult, the non-equipment fitness chain, will have 500 centres, with the rest being Eat.fit, Care.fit, and Mind.fit centres. The company also plans to launch its own fitness wearables, with plans to expand to Southwest Asian countries.
Bengaluru-based news and local language content app — DailyHunt has more than 160 Mn app installs. It offers 250K news articles and content artefacts in 14 languages, licensed from more than 1000 publication partners every day with more than 153 Mn monthly active users spending over 15 Bn minutes on the app every month.
The startup has an annual revenue rate of about $15 Mn (INR 100 Cr). It also launched its news-in-brief app, Newzly, for Android users (January 2018). It has also partnered with Vuclip and YuppTV to offer original videos and Live TV on its platform.
DailyHunt aims to capture 6%-7% of the $4 Bn digital advertising market in the next four years. It raised its last funding round of $3.5 Mn in January 2019.
Druva offers cloud data protection and information management services, leveraging the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to protect, preserve, and discover information. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with offices in India, the UK, Germany, Singapore, Japan, and Australia.
It has witnessed more than 300% year-on-year growth in infrastructure data protection revenue. Today, Druva Cloud deployments span more than 4,000 enterprise customers, including 10% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies such as Continental, Emerson, Flex, Fujitsu and Lockheed Martin. The total data protected by Druva reportedly exceeds 40 petabytes.
FINO Paytech provides integrated technology solutions to widen financial inclusion in India. The startup develops technologies that enable financial institutions to reach the country’s unbanked sectors and service the tech requirements of entities servicing bottom-of-the-pyramid customers.
FINO has been profitable since 2010 and provides a wide range of financial and large-scale enrolment services such as doorstep banking, biometric banking solutions, remittances, lending, insurance, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, and UID enrolments. It also facilitates direct benefit transfer payments through about 30,000 transaction points across more than 500 districts in India.
Recently, the startup launched its mobile wallet, FinoPay, to facilitate cashless payments. In December 2018, it also invested an undisclosed amount in Mumbai-based fintech startup CityCash, mainly to bring in Near Field communication enabled cashless payments.
FirstCry offers baby and kids’ products such as clothing, school essentials, etc, from global brands such as Funskool, Hotwheels, Nuby, Farlin, Disney, etc. The company has a footprint of over 300 stores spread across 125 cities.
At the time of raising its funding in October 2017, FirstCry also acquired BabyOye’s franchise business from Mahindra for $54 Mn. The company has expanded its parent base to over 4 Mn and a footprint of over 300 stores spread across 125 cities. It claims to offer 2 Lakh baby and kids products across 2,000 brands to 2 Mn customers.
It raised its last funding round of $395.7 Mn (INR 2,824 Cr) in a Series E round from Softbank Vision Fund in January 2019.
Warehousing automation and robotics company GreyOrange designs manufacture and deploys AI-based robotic systems that can automate routine tasks at warehouses and fulfilment centres of large ecommerce and retail arms.
The company has manufacturing units in India, China, and the US, with research and development (R&D) units in India, Singapore, and Boston (US). It also has plans to expand across Asia and Europe. It recently opened its US headquarters in Atlanta.
At present, GreyOrange handles warehousing for companies such as Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, PepperFry, and more. It has two flagship products — Butler and Linear — besides an AI-powered butler called PickPal, which is an automated picking system.
Online grocery platform Grofers offers products across categories such as groceries, fruit and vegetables, beauty and wellness, household care, and baby care, among other things. At present, the startup offers deliveries in 13 cities, clocking nearly 25,000 orders every day with an average basket size of $21.5 (INR 1,400).
In February 2017, Grofers signed a pan-India partnership with Reliance Fresh to help it set up offline stores. The plan was to open two types of offline stores: tuck shops and franchise stores. The online grocer recently launched its loyalty programme called Grofers Smart Bachat Club, which it claims has already crossed 100K subscribers in two months.
In March 2019, SoftBank Vision Fund invested $60 Mn in the company as part of a larger (approx $120 Mn-$140 Mn) funding round. Meanwhile, Grofers has stopped offering fresh products as it is concentrating its energy on private labels — Budget and Popular G-Brands. It has expanded its private labels to offer 250 food and non-food products to its consumers and is targeting a stronger growth trajectory in 2019, with a 50% contribution from its private brands.
Lendingkart is an instant working capital nance platform that provides small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with easy access to credit and working capital. Since its inception, Lendingkart Finance (the NBFC arm of the Lendingkart Group) has evaluated more than 100,000 applications and disbursed over 28,000 loans in more than 1200 cities, helping more than 21,000 SMEs across 26 sectors.
Lendingkart Finance is working towards ensuring the availability of credit for small and micro enterprises across the country that currently do not have access to credit or are capital deficient. Lendingkart uses robust in-house technology tools based on big data analytics and machine learning algorithms to evaluate creditworthiness.
Lendingkart aims to disburse 30,000 loans in FY18-19, totalling $291.8 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr). It expects 20,000 new MSMEs to be added to its platform in the ongoing fiscal.
Lenskart was launched as an online eyewear platform but soon adopted an omni-channel retail strategy. It now deals in manufacturing, assembly, distribution, and supply of products such as eyeglasses, power sunglasses, and contact lenses.
It reported a massive 78% rise in its losses for FY16-17. In order to become profitable, the company is strengthening itself from the roots and is focussing more on the utilisation of technology to achieve a position of dominance in the $3.12 Bn (INR 20K Cr) Indian eyewear market.
As of November 2018, the company claimed to have over 460 stores presence across India. It has the team strength of 150 engineers.
Livspace is a curated marketplace for homeowners and home designers that provides an end-to-end home design experience. The final cost customers pay at Livspace includes everything- furniture and products, design and management fee, charges for services, delivery and installation, and taxes.
Livspace designs enable interior designers to plan the space in 2D on a floor plan, which can then be converted into a 3D design instantly at the click of a button.
In 2016, Livspace launched Canvas, world’s first design-to-installation platform for the interior design industry; the cloud platform creates unique experiences for homeowners and scales the job of interior designers.
Livspace currently serves nine metro areas in India including Bengaluru, Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. The company has a network of 20 Design Centres and experience apartments all over the country.
Pine Labs delivers active point-of-sale (PoS) payments in India through its smart cloud-based payments platform, processing more than 450 Mn transactions worth over $15 Bn annually (as of March 2018). The startup has created a cloud-based software that can be integrated with a generic PoS terminal, enabling merchants to accept traditional electronic payment methods such as credit or debit cards issued from any bank as well as new-generation methods such as e-wallets, QR code-based payments, and other UPI-based solutions on a single platform.
Pine Labs’ solutions are used by merchants from diverse sectors – electronics, food & beverage, fashion, pharmacy, telecom and airlines. It enables online and offline last-mile retail transaction for over 100 brands.
At present, Pine Labs has on its platform more than 1 Lakh merchants. The startup has partnered with several NBFCs. It has also integrated India’s top 12 credit and debit card-issuing banks, along with the top 14 merchant acquirers, on its payment platform.
Most recently, it also partnered with Google India to enable offline transactions for their digital payments service, Google Pay. With this collaboration, Google can have access to over 330,000 point-of-sale terminals in over 3000 towns in India.
While these are just 15, we will be listing the rest in the second part, stay tuned!