Startup Street: Time To Billion-Dollar Status Has Nearly Halved Since India's Earliest Unicorns

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Two months into 2021 and India has already seen three companies turn unicorns, highlighting that startups are getting to the billion-dollar valuation faster.

Last week, Mumbai-based construction procurement marketplace Infra.Market and healthcare technology startup Innovaccer raised fresh funds that propelled them into India’s fast-growing unicorn club. Not long ago in January, Digit Insurance had, too, achieved billion-dollar status.

That only underscores the kind of funding Indian startups have received in the past three years. Till 2018, India had 10 unicorns. The nation has since added 28, according to Venture Intelligence data. That defied the macroeconomic headwinds the country has faced in recent years.

On average, it takes about eight years for an Indian startup to turn into a unicorn. But that period has been shrinking. A recent report by Orios Venture Partners shows that newer tech firms have been hitting the billion-dollar-mark sooner than their older counterparts.

India’s oldest startups like MakeMyTrip, Naukri.com and Justdial—founded prior to 2005—took roughly 15 years to become unicorns. Younger firms such as Razorpay, Swiggy, Rivigo and Unacademy, according to Orios report, became unicorns in about five years on average. Udaan, Ola Electric and Glance took 2.4 years.

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