Currently, India houses 105 unicorns coming from diverse sectors. Of this, ecommerce sector accounts the highest share with 23 unicorns
The country’s ecommerce sector, which is poised to become $400 Bn by 2030, is likely to grow at a CAGR of 19% between 2022 and 2030
From a single unicorn in 2012, 12 startups including Droom, GlobalBees, The Good Glam Group and Infra.market, among others gained the unicorn status in 2021 alone
Currently, India houses 105 unicorns coming from diverse sectors. Of this, the ecommerce sector accounts the highest share with 23 unicorns followed by fintech, enterprisetech and SaaS segments.
The country’s ecommerce sector, which is poised to become a $400 Bn market by 2030, is likely to grow at a CAGR of 19% between 2022 and 2030. Between 2014 and March 2022, the ecommerce startups have cumulatively secured $49 Bn from funding activities.
Apart from raising funds, these ecommerce startups have also roped in some of the prominent investors across the globe including Walmart, SoftBank, Tiger Global and Blackstone, among others.
Ecommerce marketplace, which houses 11 unicorns, is one of the prominent sub-sectors of the Indian ecommerce industry followed by B2B ecommerce marketplaces with four unicorns.
Ecommerce Startups In The Coveted Unicorn Club
Between 2012 and 2022, 2021 is considered as one of the most successful years for Indian startups as 12 ecommerce startups crossed the $1 Bn valuation mark in that time period.
From one unicorn in 2012, 12 startups including Droom, GlobalBees, The Good Glam Group, Infra.market, Licious, Mamaearth, Meesho, Mensa Brands, Moglix, OfBusiness and Spinny gained unicorn status in 2021 alone.
Here is the list of ecommerce unicorns in India. The list below is not meant to be a ranking of any kind. We have listed the startups in alphabetical order.
The List Of Indian Ecommerce Unicorns
Founded in 2015 by Ruchit Agarwal, Vikram Chopra, Gajendra Jangid and Mehul Agrawal, Cars24 is an online used car selling platform. To sell a vehicle on Cars24, a consumer needs to book an appointment at one of its branches, then visit the branch and sell his/her car on a single visit.
In 2020, Cars24 entered the coveted unicorn club at a valuation of $1 Bn after raising $200 Mn in its Series E funding round from DST Global, Exor Seeds, Moore Strategic Venture and Unbound.
So far, it has secured $1.3 Bn total funds. It counts DST Global, Falcon Edge Capital, Global Car Group, KCK, KCK Global, MPGI, Sequoia Capital India, SoftBank Vision Fund, Trifecta Capital Advisors and Unbound as its investors.
Recently, it sacked nearly 600 employees, which accounts for 6.6% of its headcount of about 9,000 employees.
Founded in 2018 by Sourjyendu Medda, Sankar Bora, Vineet Rao and Rajat Shikhar, DealShare is a social ecommerce platform. It essentially sells grocery and other household products via social and messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.
In January, DealShare became a unicorn after raising $129 Mn in its Series E round at a post-money valuation of $1.62 Bn. Existing investors–Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Incubation, alongside new investors Kora Investment, DF International Partners and Twenty Nine Capital Partners participated in the round.
To date, it has secured 624.8 Mn in total. Its investors include Matrix Partners India, Falcon Edge Capital, WestBridge Capital, Alpha Wave Incubation, Omidyar Network, InnoVen Capital, Alteria Capital, Tiger Global, Z3Partners, and DST Global, among others.
In the financial year 2021-22, its losses grew by 134% to INR 67 Cr as compared to fiscal 2020 when it incurred losses of INR 30 Cr. Meanwhile, its revenue from operations surged 312.3% to INR 236.8 Cr in the fiscal year 2021-22.
Set up in 2014 by Sandeep Agarwal, Droom is an online platform where consumers can buy and sell used as well as new automobiles in India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and other countries. It follows four marketplace formats such as B2B, B2C, C2C and C2B and three pricing formats including fixed price, best offer and auction.
So far, it has raised $333 Mn from fundraisings in total. It counts 57 Stars, BEENEXT, Digital Garage, Integrated Capital, Joe Hirao, Lightbox Ventures and Toyota Tsusho Corporation as its investors.
In the financial year 2020-21, it reported a loss of INR 69 Cr against INR 90 Cr loss incurred in the previous fiscal year. Also, its revenue from operations also declined to INR 136 Cr in the corresponding period.
Meanwhile, in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021-22, it reported a loss of INR 33 Cr whilst its revenue grew to INR 81 Cr in the same time period.
Founded in 2010 by Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari, FirstCry is an ecommerce marketplace that offers a slew of baby and kids products, right from clothing to school supplies.
In 2020, it also entered the coveted unicorn club along with Cars24 after raising $296 Mn from SoftBank’s Vision Fund.
To date, it has bagged $741.4 Mn in aggregate. It has been backed by investors including IDG Capital, SAIF Partners, Vertex Ventures, Chiratae Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund, Chrys Capital, PremjiInvest, Valiant Capital Partners, TPG Capital Asia and NIIF.
In the financial year 2021-22, it reported a profit after tax of INR 215.94 Cr whilst its revenue from operations surged by 141.3% to INR 1,740 Cr against INR 896.7 Cr earned in the previous fiscal year.
Founded in 2007 by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, Flipkart is an ecommerce marketplace. It used to sell books online but gradually expanded into other categories such as lifestyle products, home essentials, fashion, and electronics, among others.
In 2012, it became one of the first ecommerce startups to enter the unicorn club in India. However, in 2020, Walmart acquired 82% stake in the ecommerce startup via a $1.2 Bn funding round.
To date, it has secured $12.6 Bn from a slew of investors including Accel, Axis Bank, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, DST Global, eBay, GIC, Naspers, SoftBank Vision Fund, Steadview Capital, Tencent and Tiger Global.
In the financial year 2020-21, it posted losses of INR 2,445 Cr whilst its revenue from operations clocked at INR 43,357 Cr in the corresponding period.
Founded in 2021 by Nitin Agarwal, GlobalBees is an ecommerce enabler that invests as well as acquire seller businesses on ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart.
In December 2021, it became a unicorn after raising nearly $111.5 Mn in its Series B round from SoftBank, Premji Invest, Chiratae Ventures, Trifecta Capital, Steadview Capital and Lyon Investment Group.
So far, it has raised close to $290 Mn in aggregate from investors including Chiratae Ventures, Chrys Capital, FirstCry, Lightspeed India Partners, PremjiInvest, SoftBank Vision Fund and Steadview Capital.
Its portfolio includes several D2C brands such as Reach and Strauss, The Butternut Company, Mush, The Better Home, andMe, Prolixr, Absorbia, Yellow Chimes, HealthyHey, HealthVit, Top Gummy, UrbanGabru, Urban Yog, Kuber Industries, and Candes.
Good Glamm Group
Set up in 2017 by Darpan Sanghvi, Good Glamm Group is an ecommerce marketplace that offers a host of cruelty-free and vegan beauty products in personal care, skin and cosmetic categories.
In 2021, it turned unicorn along with 10 other ecommerce players. Then, it crossed over $1 Bn valuation after raising $150 Mn in its Series D funding round from Prosus Ventures, Warburg Pincus, Alteria Capital, L’Occitane, Bessemer Ventures and Amazon.
So far, it has raised over $312 Mn in total from investors including Accel, Ascent Capital, Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor, Stride Ventures, Trifecta Capital Advisors, Warburg Pincus and Wipro Consumer Care Ventures, among others.
Founded in 2016 by Aaditya Sharda and Souvik Sengupta, Infra.Market is a B2B ecommerce marketplace that offers construction material and lifestyle products to institutional customers and retail outlets.
Last year, it entered the unicorn club after bagging $100 Mn in its Series C round from Tiger Global, Accel Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Evolvence India Fund, Sistema Asia Fund and Foundamental Gmbh.
It has secured a total of about $376 Mn via fundraisings so far. Some of its investors are Alteria Global, Evolvence India Fund, InnoVen Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Tiger Global Management, Trifecta Capital Advisors and Navi Finserv among others.
Founded in 2010 by Bansal, Amit Chaudhury, and Sumeet Kapathi, Lenskart is an eyewear brand. It follows an omnichannel strategy thereby, selling products via mobile-based apps and retail stores across 175 Indian cities.
In 2020, it became a unicorn after securing INR 1,645 Cr ($231 Mn) in its Series G funding round from SoftBank Vision Fund II, Lightbulb Ltd, Chiratae Ventures, TPG, Premji Invest and Unilazer Ventures, among others.
Last year, it set up a fund called Vision Fund to invest $2 Mn in startups that are synergistic to eyewear and eye care segments.
So far, it has raised over $927 Mn in aggregate. Some of its backers are Epiq Capital, Falcon Edge Capital, Kedaara Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Temasek Holdings and TR Capital, among others.
Set up in 2015 by Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Licious is a direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup that sells a host of seafood, meat and allied products.
Last year, it became the first D2C startup to enter the coveted unicorn club after securing $52 Mn in its Series G funding round from IIFL AMC’s Tech Fund and Avendus FLF.
In March, it secured $150 Mn from Amansa Capital, Kotak PE and Axis Growth Avenues AIF – I, among others thus, taking its aggregate fundraising to $488 Mn. It counts 3One4 Capital, Bertelsmann, IIFL Asset Management, Mayfield Fund, Multiples Alternate Asset Management Private Limited, Nichirin, Temasek Holdings, Vertex Growth Fund, Vertex Ventures as its investors.
Set up in 2014 by Anuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma, Livspace is an ecommerce marketplace that facilitates designers and homeowners to design their interiors.
In February, it turned into a unicorn after bagging $180 Mn from KKR & Co, Ikea, Jungle Ventures, Venturi Partners and Peugeot Investments.
It has raised a total of about $431 Mn as funds from investors including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Trifecta Capital and Tahoe Investment Group.
Founded in 2016 by Ghazal Alagh and Varun Alagh, Delhi-based Mamaearth is a direct-to-consumer brand which offers a host of products in hair, skin and body categories.
It claims to have FDA approved and dermatologically tested products.
Late 2021, it became a unicorn after raising $38 Mn from Sequoia Capital at a post-money valuation of $1.07 Bn.
So far, it has bagged over $111 Mn in aggregate from investors–Fireside Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Shilpa Setty, Sofina and Stellaris Venture Partners.
Founded in 2015 by IIT graduates Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho is an online reselling platform for small and medium-sized businesses and general masses. It facilitates consumers to sell products within their network via social media channels including WhatsApp and Instagram.
In April 2021, it crossed $1.Bn valuation after raising $300 Mn from SoftBank. Prosus Ventures, Facebook, Shunwei Capital, Venture Highway and Knollwood Investment at a post-money valuation of $2.1 Bn.
So far, it has raised a total of $1.1 Bn from fundraising activities. It counts B Capital Group, DST Partners, Elevation Capital, Facebook, nvestopad, Prosud & Naspers, Raju Garg, RPS Ventures, and Y Combinator, among others.
In the financial year 2021-22, it posted revenue from operations at INR 45.8 Cr against INR 41.7 Cr clocked in the previous fiscal year. Meanwhile, it incurred losses of INR 498.6 Cr in the fiscal year 2021-22, which is up by 62.5% from INR 306.6 Cr of losses incurred in the previous financial year.
Founded in May 2021 by Anath Narayanan, who was earlier heading Mnytra, the Bengaluru-based D2C aggregator essentially acquires digital-first startups and facilitates them in scaling up across sectors.
In November 2021, it became one of the fastest entrants to the unicorn club after crossing the $1 Bn valuation mark. It secured $135 Mn from Alpha Wave Ventures, Falcon Edge Capital and other existing investors.
So far, it has bagged a total of $219 Mn from investors such as Accel Partners, Prosus, Tiger Global, Alpha Wave, Norwest Ventures, Kunal Shah, Rahul Mehta, Alteria Capital and Falcon Edge Capital, among others.
Until now, it has acquired 18 startups–Pebble, Trustbasket, Florona, Estalon, LilPicks, High Star, Priyaasi and Karagiri, to name a few. Recently, it was said to be acquiring Times Internet-led MensXP and iDiva for $100 Mn.
Set up in 2015 by Rahul Garg, Moglix is a B2B ecommerce platform that offers a host of industrial goods including power tools, hand tools, and electricals to the customers. It buys and supplies safety tools, hardware supplies and other allied products across diverse industries.
In 2021, it entered the unicorn club after bagging $120 Mn from a bunch of investors including
Falcon Edge Capital, Harvard Management Company, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India and Venture Highway.
It has raised over $472 Mn in aggregate so far. It counts Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital India, International Finance Corporation, Ratan Tata, Flipkart’s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Harvard Management Company, and Composite Capital Management as some of its investors.
In the financial year 2020-21, it posted revenue from operations at INR 776.6 Cr whilst its losses widened marginally by 3% to INR 81 Cr.
Founded in 2012 by Falguni Nayar, Nykaa is an ecommerce marketplace that offers a slew of products in beauty, hair, skin and other categories.
In 2020, it entered the unicorn club along with Cars24 after raising nearly $13.6 Mn from Steadview Capital.
So far, it has raised over $148 Mn in aggregate from a cohort of investors including Fidelity Management and Research Company, Lighthouse Funds, Steadview Capital, Sunil Munjal and TPG Growth.
In the financial year 2021-22, it reported a decline of profit after tax (PAT) by 33% to INR 41.3 Cr. On the other hand, its revenue from operations soared by 55% to INR 3,773.9 Cr in the corresponding period.
Founded in 2016 by Bhuvan Gupta, Vasant Sridhar, Asish Mohapatra, Ruchi Kalra and Nitin Jain, OfBusiness is a B2B ecommerce marketplace that helps SMEs in procuring raw materials and credit in manufacturing and infrastructure industry.
In 2021, it entered the coveted unicorn club after securing $160 Mn from SoftBank Vision Fund-II, Falcon Edge and Matrix Partners.
So far, it has secured over $878 Mn in aggregate from investors including Creation Investments Capital Management, InnoVen Capital, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Matrix Partners India, Norwest Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management, among others.
Founded in 2016 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm Mall is an ecommerce marketplace that offers a host of products across categories.
Within two years of its operations, it gained unicorn status after securing $445 Mn ( nearly INR 3,000 Cr) from SoftBank and Alibaba at a post-money valuation of $1.9 Bn.
So far, it has raised $3 Bn from investors–Softbank Vision Fund, Alibaba Group and eBay.
In May, early backers Alibaba and Ant Group exited Paytm Mall after the startup decided to shift its focus to India’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to explore business opportunities.
Founded in 2012 by Manish Taneja and Rahul Dash, Purplle is an ecommerce marketplace that offers a host of beauty products and appliances on its platform. Some brands that have a presence on the platform are Lakme, Plum, mCaffeine, Maybelline, and SUGAR Cosmetics.
In June, it entered the celebrated unicorn club after raising $33 Mn from a bunch of investors including Paramak Ventures, Premji Invest, Blume Ventures, and Kedaara.
So far, it has raised a total of $215 Mn from investors such as Goldman Sachs, Sequoia Capital, PremjiInvest, IvyCap Ventures, among others.
In the financial year 2021-22, it reported a 40% jump in revenue from operations to INR 127.19 Cr whilst its losses widened to INR 51.27 Cr as compared to INR 24.38 Cr in the previous financial year.
Founded in 2011 by Sandeep Aggarwal, Sanjay Sethi and Radhika Aggarwal, ShopClues is an ecommerce marketplace that offers a wide range of products across diverse categories.
In 2016, it entered the coveted unicorn club at a post-money valuation of $1.1 Bn. Some of its backers are Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, GIC, Tiger Global Management, InnoVen Capital, Unilazer Ventures and Clues Network.
After three years of becoming a unicorn, it faced a liquidity crunch and consequently, looked for buyers. In 2019, it was acquired by Singapore-based ecommerce startup Qoo10 in an all-stock deal.
Founded in 2010 by Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl, Snapdeal is an ecommerce marketplace that offers a slew of products, right from clothes to electronic appliances to mobile phones.
In 2014, it turned into a unicorn after crossing the $1 Bn valuation mark. However, it later fell out of the coveted unicorn club owing to business instability, cut-throat competition and massive cash burn.
So far, it has raised a total of $1.8 Bn from investors such as SoftBank, RuNet Holdings, Alibaba Group, Kalaari Capital, Foxconn Technology Group, BlackRock, Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and SoftBAnk Capital among others.
In the financial year 2021-22, it reported revenue from operations at INR 431 Cr whilst it made losses of INR 129 Cr in the corresponding period, according to Tofler.
Founded in 2015 by Niraj Singh, Mohit Gupta and Ramanshu Mahaur, Spinny is a recommerce platform that sells used cars to consumers via 15 car hubs across eight Indian cities including
Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata.
In 2021, it gained the unicorn status after securing $283 Mn from ADQ, Tiger Global, Avenir Growth, Arena Holdings’ CEO Feroz Dewan, Arena Holdings and Think Investments.
So far, it has raised over $513 Bn from a host of investors such as Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Accel, Blume Ventures, Elevation Capital, Fundamentum and General Catalyst, among others.
In the fiscal year 2021-22, it reported widening of its losses by 45% to INR 110 Cr whilst it clocked a 2X jump in its revenue from INR 11.4 Cr in FY20-21 to INR 25.3 Cr in FY21-22.
Founded in 2016 by former Flipkart executives–Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta, and Amod Malviya, Udaan is a B2B ecommerce marketplace that connects small and medium businesses, manufacturers, wholesalers, traders and retailers at one place.
Only after two years of its inception, it entered the unicorn club after securing $225 Mn from DST Global and Lightspeed Venture Partners’ global fund.
So far, it has raised $1.5 Bn from a slew of investors such as Altimeter Capital, BlackSoil Capital, Citi Ventures, Footpath Ventures,GGV Global, InnoVen Capital, Moonstone Capital, Octahedron Capital and Tencent, among others.
As a cost-cutting measure, it has lately sacked nearly 180 employees across various divisions.