Indian startups raised $42 billion in 2021, says report

India, with 46 new startups added in 2021, is the third-largest hub after the US and China

File photo for illustrative purposes
File photo for illustrative purposes

A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 6:12 PM

Indian startups raised $42 billion in 2021, up from a mere $11.5 billion a year earlier, according to Orios Venture Partners, a Mumbai-based venture capital firm.

“India has the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world with over 60,000 start-ups,” said a report by the firm. “Indian unicorns are flourishing in this fast-paced and dynamic economy. They are not only developing innovative solutions and technologies but are generating large-scale employment. Today, 1 out of 13 unicorns globally was born in India.” (In the venture capital business, a unicorn is a privately held startup with a value of over $1 billion).

In 2010, there was just one unicorn in the country: Make My Trip. It took almost a decade for the numbers to rise to double-digits. In 2019, India saw the emergence of 10 unicorns, which rose to 12 a year later and pole vaulted to 46 in 2021.

India, with 46 new unicorns added in 2021, is the third-largest hub after the US (254 in 2021) and China (74). The US has 487 unicorns, while China has 301. India has 90, followed by the UK at 39.

According to Orios, the city with most unicorns is Bangalore (total 35; 18 in 2021), which has also emerged as seventh-largest unicorn hub in the world. Delhi comes next in India (29 and 13) followed by Mumbai (16 and 11). Other notable unicorn hubs in the country include Chennai, Pune, Jaipur and Hyderabad.


Fintech dominates the unicorn sectors, followed by e-commerce and SaaS (software as a service). The report noted that 2021 was a landmark year for start-ups going public in India; 11 (including eight unicorns) raised $7.16 billion through public offerings. One97 Communications (PayTM) raised $2.46 billion through an IPO, while Zomato has the highest market capitalisation ($14.8 billion) among listed Indian start-ups.

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