New Delhi: India which is currently the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, is likely to see 147 unicorns in the next five years, disrupting financial services, healthcare, business management solutions and education sectors, a report showed on Tuesday.

India is currently home to 83 unicorns, 51 gazelles (most likely to go unicorn within three years) and 96 cheetahs (to achieve unicorn status in five years), according to the ‘ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2023’ report.

It is a ranking of India’s startups founded in the 2000s, worth at least $200 million, not yet listed on a public exchange and most likely to ‘go Unicorn’ in the next five years.

“Despite the headwinds, we have seen founders demonstrating unwavering determination, adaptability, and resourcefulness. The funding winter serves as a catalyst for innovation, urging startups to think creatively, optimise resources and refine their strategies,” said Rajesh Saluja, CEO & MD, ASK Private Wealth.

“It is during these times that the true spirit of entrepreneurship shines through. The 51 Gazelles and 96 Cheetahs in this index likely to go Unicorn in the next 5 years are a testimony to this,” he added.

The future unicorns, on average, were set up in 2015, with the vast majority selling software and services, with only 20 per cent selling physical products. About 37 per cent are selling to businesses, while 63 per cent are consumer-facing.

“Gazelles and Cheetahs provide an insight into the economy of tomorrow. What they are doing and where they are doing it gives an indication into which sectors are attracting the world’s top young talent and smartest capital, and which countries and cities have the best start-up ecosystems,” explained Anas Rahman Junaid, Hurun India Founder and Chief Researcher.

Peak XV Partners (earlier Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia) is India’s most successful VC platform at finding and investing into Gazelles and Cheetahs, followed by InnoVen Capital, Tiger Global Management, Accel and Blume Ventures.

In India, quick commerce company Zepto, financial services start-up Vivriti Capital and EV space start-up Ather Energy are expected to play a critical role in solving credit, last mile logistics and renewable energy for India. Online furniture platform pepperfry is the most valuable Cheetah, according to the report.


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