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Overall 2021 was nuts in a good way
1. Record number of unicorns and IPOs: Indian startups raised $39B in 2021
In total, capital flowing to private Indian startups surged over four times to about $39 billion this year and nearly three times from the previous best of $14.6 billion in 2019, according to data from insight platform Tracxn, which has also filed for an IPO.
India now has 81 unicorns, 44 of which joined the club this year. Several of the unicorns and many other fast growing startups have raised multiple rounds this year and increased their valuations multiple times over. Fintech Slice, which is giving millions of Indians access to credit card features and helping them build credit scores, increased its valuation multiple-fold in a recent round it raised from Insight Partners and Tiger Global.
CRED, for instance, has raised three funding rounds and has held talks for a fourth one, TechCrunch reported earlier. Indian edtech giant Byju’s has raised over $1.5 billion since last year. Instant grocery delivery startup Zepto, co-founded by two 19-year-old Stanford dropouts, doubled its valuation to $570 million in a span of two months.
Fintech startup Jar, which is helping hundreds of thousands of Indians start their investment journey, is about to close a round from a high-profile investor, said two people familiar with the matter. The startup, founded this year, is likely to increase its valuation by about 15 times in the new round.
2. Indian startups record highest ever ESOP buyback in 2021: $440 Million
The year 2021 witnessed record numbers when it comes to employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) liquidity events by startups across stages. More than three dozen startups based out of India facilitated or announced ESOP buyback programs worth around $440 million through the year. This is more than an eight-fold jump in ESOP buyback as compared to the previous year.
Fintrackr’s research shows that companies such as Flipkart, Swiggy, PhonePe, Udaan, ShareChat, Razorpay, CRED, Browserstack, Meesho, Spinny, Zerodha, Unacademy, upGrad announced ESOP liquidity program worth more than $440 million. E-commerce major Flipkart, SaaS company Browserstack, digital payments platform PhonePe, edtech company upGrad, B2B e-commerce platform Udaan, social network platform ShareChat are the top buyers of ESOPs in the list.
Worth paying attention:
Mamaearth, Derma co-parent Honasa becomes first unicorn of 2022 Link
Zetwerk raises $210 mn from Greenoaks Capital, others at $2.7 bn valuation Link
Exclusive: OneCard raises $75 Mn at over $720 Mn valuation Link
Zupee partners Jio Platforms; valuation hits $600mn after Series B funding Link
SoftBank-backed GlobalBees joins unicorn club with $111.5 mn funding Link
Your Guide To India’s Startup Unicorns Of 2021 Link
Neobank Jupiter raises $86 mn from Tiger Global, others at $711 mn valuation Link
Indian e-commerce Udaan raises $250 million Link