A unicorn is a startup or private company valued at $ 1 billion or more. India has some ten unicorns, five in Bengaluru and five in Delhi-NCR, according to the Wall Street Journal.These include Flipkart, Ola, InMobi, Quikr and Mu Sigma in Bengaluru, and Snapdeal, Zomato, Paytm, Hike and Shopclues in DelhiNCR. CB Insights does not include Quikr among its unicorns, so their number is nine for India.
France, Japan and South Korea together have six: three, two and one, respectively, according to CB Insights. China has 29 more unicorns than India, while the US has 88 more. CB Insights has a total of 185 unicorns. Flipkart stands at the tenth place globally, while Snapdeal occupies the 19th place and Ola takes the 24th. Hike and Shopclues are latest entrants.
Experts say the increasing number of Unicorns in India is a reflection of the market potential. However, the most valued startups in India seem to be imitation firms providing services that have already proven themselves in other parts of the world. Experts though say there is no reason to decry this trend. Most of the startups, including the unicorns, are focused on the needs of the India-1 market: the metros and big cities, their growth will be impossible if they cannot make a transition to the India-2 or Bharat market.
CB Insights data shows that the rate at which new unicorns are emerging is slowing down both in China and the US, which experts believe can be a great opportunity for India.