Which Indian startups became unicorns in 2020?

02:02 PM Nov 26, 2020 | Sharanya Alva |

It is a dream of every entrepreneur to see his start-up enter the prestigious unicorn club one day. In the venture capital industry, the term unicorn refers to any startup that reaches the valuation of $1 billion.


Although, 2020 has been a difficult year for a variety of reasons and the pandemic has certainly shaken the economic foundations of the world, certain Indian startups seem to have been doing well and are now part of the much-sought-after billion-dollar valuation clubs, also known as unicorns.

Eight Indian startups namely Pine Labs, FirstCry, Nykaa, Unacademy, Zerodha, Razorpay, Postman and Cars24 have become unicorns (achieved $1 billion and above valuation) in 2020 so far.

In January 2020, Pine Labs became the first unicorn of 2020, after raising an undisclosed amount from New York-based financial services major Mastercard.

Postman was started by Abhijit Kane, Abhinav Asthana and Ankit Sobti in Bengaluru but is headquartered in San Francisco. It is the fastest Indian startup to become a unicorn as it took just six years to hit the billion-dollar valuation.


Pune-based baby products marketplace Firstcry raised $296 million (Rs 2,120 crore) in Series E funding from Japan-based Softbank’s Vision Fund in February of this year.

Unacademy reportedly has close 3.5 lakh subscribers and 18,000 educators in its network, that cater to the needs of 35+ competitive exams.

The Mumbai-base startup, Nykaa became a unicorn in April 2020 after it raised Rs 100 crore from Steadview Capital.

Zerodha entered the unicorn club in June this year, with a self-assessed valuation of about $1 billion, based on the ESOP buyback exercise the startup undertook.

Razorpay attained the unicorn status in October of 2020. Fintech startup Razorpay raised $100 million in Series D funding co-led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and Sequoia Capital India.

A major beneficiary was Cars24 Services Pvt., an online marketplace for used cars based in Gurgaon, India. The company’s valuation jumped to more than $1 billion after a new round of funding. It is the latest entrant to the unicorn club with $200-million Series E round led by DST Global.

India now has over 20 unicorns, with Paytm having the highest valuation.



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