Sector-wise Wrap-up for 2022
The Indian startup ecosystem got off to a terrific start in 2022, with 13 firms becoming unicorns in the first three months, compared to 8 in the first four months of 2021.
The pace of firms becoming unicorns, however, slowed as the financial winter set in, and just 21 of them joined the exclusive club in 2022 as opposed to 44 in 2021.
The pace of startups joining the unicorn club is only anticipated to accelerate in the second half of 2023!
Which sectors saw the highest unicorns?
You should be able to guess it!
The enterprisetech sector produced the highest number of unicorns in 2022. Six startups from the sector turned unicorns during the year, which was 29% of the total startups entering the unicorn club in 2022.
The increasing digitization post the pandemic seems to have made investors turn their focus to the enterprisetech sector. Amagi, Darwin Box, Fractal, Hasura, LeadSquared, and Uniphore were the six startups from the sector which turned unicorn.
Fintech's position as the Top Sector of the Year replaced?
In 2021, fintech and ecommerce produced the highest number of unicorns (11 each). Together, they produced 52% of the total unicorns in the year. However, the tables turned in 2022 as the fintech sector came under the regulatory gaze of the Reserve Bank of India, while the cash-guzzling ecommerce sector saw many startups shutting down verticals to cut expenses.
The enterprisetech sector garnered $8 Bn in total funding during January-November 2022, while the fintech and ecommerce sector raised just $4.3 Bn and $3.8 Bn, respectively, during this time.
Consequently, the number of startups from the fintech sector entering the unicorn club declined to just four in 2022, while the count was at three for the ecommerce sector.
The Startup Factory City of the Year
Bengaluru, just like last year, topped the charts when it came to producing the highest number of unicorns. The startup hub of India produced six unicorns this year, translating to 29% of the total number of unicorns produced. Amagi, Hasura, Leadsquared, LivSpace, and Open were the startups from Karnataka’s capital which turned unicorns in 2022.
Delhi NCR and Mumbai were tied at the second spot, having produced four unicorns each.
While the Delhi NCR region saw Tata 1Mg, Oxyzo, PhysicsWallah, and Shiprocket cross the $1 Bn valuation mark, Mumbai witnessed Fractal, Games 24×7, Lead School, and Purplle turn unicorns.
What does the forecast say for 2023?
Sectors like enterprisetech, SaaS, fintech and ecommerce are expected to be investors’ favourites in 2023 as well and may produce unicorns, startups from emerging sectors like agritech, cleantech, and spacetech may also cross the billion-dollar valuation mark.
In the agritech sector, startups such as DeHaat, Waycool, and Ninjacart are almost on the verge of crossing the $1 Bn valuation mark. Meanwhile, the electric vehicles (EVs) sub-sector under the cleantech category has also been garnering a lot of interest from the investors as the adoption of EVs is on a rise in the country. While Ola Electric is already a unicorn, its competitor Ather Energy may be the next in line to join the unicorn club.
Spacetech is another sector which has been grabbing eyeballs over the last couple of years or so. In November, Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace became the first private Indian company to launch a rocket into space. The startup successfully launched its Vikram-S rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
On the other hand, Agnikul Cosmos, another Indian spacetech startup, has built its own launchpad and mission control centre at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Achievements like this have resulted in spacetech startups drawing big cheques from investors. While Agnikul Cosmos is in talks to raise a $40 Mn round, Skyroot Aerospace has already raised $51 Mn in a round led by Singapore’s GIC this year.
We've got high hopes for the ecosystem next year! Here's to a powerpacked 2023 for the ecosystem.