Unicorns of 2020 and 2021
Covid made it difficult for startups to grow. Despite the wounds of the pandemic, some startups managed to enter the unicorn club.
The journey of the term ‘Unicorn’ comes a long way from being a mythological creature to the statistical rarity of successful entrepreneurs. Coined by Aileen Lee in 2013 Unicorn companies are referred to those startups that have attained recognition with a valuation of $1 billion.
It would be the dream of every entrepreneur to see his/her startup enter the prestigious unicorn club one day. However, the economic turbulence and recession caused by the invasion of the pandemic in many sectors made it difficult for startups to become a unicorn. They faced the impact, some fought like fierce warriors, others lost their battles. Everyone is ready to bid 2020 goodbye on a sombre note and welcome 2021 with a glint of hope in their eyes. Despite the pandemic reducing the pace of venture capital investment, some of the startups entered the Unicorn club. some of them are Unacademy, Pine Labs, FirstCry, Zenoti, Nykaa, Postman, Zerodha, Razorpay, Cars24, Dailyhunt, and Glance.
In January 2020, Pine Labs became the first to enter the unicorn club of 2020. This startup provides a merchant platform and makes software for point sale machines.
CARS24 was founded by Vikram Chopra in the year 2015. It is a platform for buying and selling used cars. CARS24 believes in the potential of the pre-owned car industry and this could bring a revolution. Within 5 years of its. establishment, the company’s sale escalated to almost 150,000 cars sold every year.
Dream11 became a pioneer in the kingdom of gaming segment and it is the first Indian gaming to step its foot in the unicorn club. Dream11 faced a lot of hurdles before ruling the gaming world. As the game is similar to gambling, it faced legal issues as gambling is illegal in India. They have to face heavy competition as there is around 60 other online gaming platform with the same genre. Dream11 ranked among the Top 10 biggest and most popular trends of 2018 in India.
Zenoti, the Hyderabad and Bellevue-based enterprise which sells software to manage spas and salons raised $160 million at a valuation of $1 billion.
Byju’s, an Edtech startup, became one of India’s most valued unicorns with the funding received by Tiger Global.
Bengaluru and San Francisco-based SaaS startup Postman has the distinction of being the fastest SaaS startup to reach unicorn status. In June 2020, the six-year-old startup secured a Series C funding of $150 million at a valuation of $2 billion.
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown forced small businesses to go digital. It brought a revolution in the world of technology. It is believed that the next big wave would be consumer internet companies focused on building digital products and services for SMEs in the developed market. Edtech and health tech startups would continue to flourish in the coming years.
Some startups might enter the unicorn club in 2021. Pepperfry an online furnishing company, Licious a meat startup, Shiprocket a logistic company, and Agrostar an agritech startup is among others that might bloom in 2021.