Unicorns in 2022: The Indian Billion-Dollar Club

The New Year couldn’t have been any better for the Indian startup ecosystem. In only the second month of the year, the country has seen eight new entrants to the unicorn club (Companies with a valuation of more than $1 billion). The latest addition to this list is Xpressbees, a startup operating in logistics. Other seven startups that have made it to this coveted club include Darwinbox, ElasticRun, Fractal, Polygon, LEAD, Livspace, and DealShare. And a PwC report says that this is just the start of the good things for the startup ecosystem this year. The report exclaims that as many as 50 startups could make it to the billion-dollar club this year. The unicorns in 2022 could break the record of most startups.

Even 2021 wasn’t as bad as many still think it was. As many as 44 startups were added to the unicorn club last year. The previous decade just saw 33 startups entering the unicorn club. When compared with the two years of this decade, those figures in the last decade don’t come across as too promising. Last year was a record-breaker in more ways than one. Fund inflow was at its highest in recent years, which contributed to the emergence of startups doing well and according to experts, 2022 won’t disappoint either.

Xpressbees, a Pune-based logistics startup, raised around $300 million in their latest round of funding, which contributed to their inclusion in the unicorn club. After this Series F round of funding, the company is currently valued at $1.2 billion. This round of funding for Xpressbees came from private equity players TPS Growth, ChrysCapital, and Blackstone Growth. It includes $200 million worth of secondary share sales and the initial capital influx of $100 million. The startup intends to use this capital to support growth initiatives, talent acquisition, and product development.

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Xpressbees has witnessed almost a 100% rise in its revenue in recent years. And the pandemic has been one of the significant factors for this staggering growth. As more and more people started to shop online during the pandemic, it considerably increased the demand for products that could be home delivered. And even though the public market has not been as smooth as it is supposed to be, the rise in the number of unicorns in India, especially in the last couple of years, shows how global investors view the startup ecosystem in the country.

All the remaining unicorns this year come from different sectors. Polygon, a blockchain-based startup that raised $450 million this year, is currently valued at $2 billion. Another logistics startup, ElasticRun, raised $300 million in the Series E funding round and is valued at $1.4 billion. LivSpace, a home décor company, is next on the list. It raised close to $180 million and has a valuation of $1.2 billion. Saas-Analytics startup, Fractal, raised $360 million at a $1 billion valuation. LEAD, an edtech startup, raised $100 million in a Series E round of funding. The last two names in the current unicorn club in India include DealShare (Social commerce platform) and Darwinbox (SaaS-HR). These two startups have raised $165 million at a valuation of $1.6 billion and $72 million at a valuation of $1 billion, respectively.


  • Unicorns of 2022: Logistics startup Xpressbees latest to enter the billion-dollar club | Your Story | February 9, 2022
  • India already has 8 new unicorns in just 40 days of 2022, latest being logistics startup Xpressbees | The Times of India | Sunainaa Chadha | Feb 10, 2022

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