152 Potential Unicorns Identified Across 31 Indian Cities, Mostly Offering Software and Services: Report 

The report highlights that the country is home to 67 unicorns, 46 gazelles, and 106 cheetahs, as against 68 unicorns, 51 gazelles, and 96 cheetahs in the 2023 index.
152 Potential Unicorns Identified Across 31 Indian Cities, Mostly Offering Software and Services: Report 

As many as 25 upcoming unicorns have dropped from the Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2024. Similarly, 12 companies were downgraded to Cheetah from Gazelle, but ten transitioned to Gazelle from Cheetah. 

Cheetah in the start-up sector refers to a company that has a five-year forecast of becoming a unicorn. Additionally, a gazelle is a rapidly expanding business that grows by at least 20 per cent annually for a minimum of four years. 

The Ask Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2024 is a ranking of start-ups in India that were founded in the 2000s and have a value of at least $200 million. Further, the start-ups included are most likely to become unicorns within three years and are not yet listed on the public exchanges. 

The report highlights that the country is home to 67 unicorns, 46 gazelles, and 106 cheetahs, as against 68 unicorns, 51 gazelles, and 96 cheetahs in the 2023 index. Similarly, Peak XV Partners, with investments in 47 probable unicorns, continues to be the most active investor, followed by Accel, which has stakes in 25 future unicorns. 

Read: DPIIT Likely to Enhance Start-Up Funding in 100-Day Action Plan: Report

The report adds that three companies turned into unicorns this year, including grocery delivery start-up Zepto, fintech start-up InCred Finance, and logistics start-up Porter. On the other hand, HR platform Darwinbox has been demoted to a Gazelle from a Unicorn. 

As per the report, the top five angel investors in the country include Anand Chandrasekaran, Kunal Bahl, Kunal Shah, Jitendra Gupta, and Rohit Bansal. 

Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and chief researcher, Hurun India, said, “Amidst a funding winter, inflated pre-2021 valuations, and setbacks from companies like Byju's, the once golden startup ecosystem now faces a critical turning point. Despite 44 companies dropping out of the index over the past year, this year's index welcomes 38 new entrants.” 

The research identified 152 potential unicorns across 31 Indian cities. These companies, mostly established around 2015, predominantly offer software and services, with only 18 per cent selling physical products. About 44 per cent cater to businesses, while 56 per cent target consumers. These future unicorns are primarily involved in sectors like financial services, business management solutions, education, and healthcare. 

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