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Global Unicorn Index 2023: India Emerges as Third-Largest Hub with 68 Unicorns

India emerges as the third-largest unicorn hub with 68 startups valued at $1bn+

India has solidified its position as the third-largest hub for startup unicorns, with a total of 68 companies valued at over $1 billion, according to The Hurun Research Institute’s Global Unicorn Index 2023. Edtech giant BYJU’S leads the way in India with a valuation of $22 billion, followed by food delivery and quick commerce startup Swiggy and fantasy sports platform Dream11, both worth $8 billion. While no Indian startups were included in the list of top 10 global startups, logistics unicorn Delhivery secured the 14th spot on the list of top IPOs last year.

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70 unicorns founded by Indian co-founders outside India

The report also revealed that 70 unicorns were founded by Indian co-founders outside of India, bringing the total number of unicorns founded by Indians globally to 138. The majority of these were founded in the US, with 64, while two were founded in the UK, and one each in Germany, Singapore, Indonesia, and Mexico. According to the report, founders from India, China, and Russia are producing more offshore unicorns than any other country.

The number of unicorns globally has risen to 1,361, up 303 from last year, with the US leading the way with 666 unicorns, while China comes second with 316 unicorns. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the fastest unicorn creation rate in history, with an average of one new unicorn per day.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT among top global performers with $20bn valuation

One of the standout performers in the global unicorn landscape is OpenAI, the owner of generative AI tool ChatGPT, which has jumped from 272nd to 17th spot in the rankings, with its valuation increasing by $17 billion to reach $20 billion. Other companies that have seen significant changes in valuation include San Francisco-based note-taking application Notion Labs, up by $8 billion, Guangzhou-based Shein, which added $45 billion, and LA-based SpaceX, up by $37 billion. The report highlights the companies that experienced the biggest drops in valuation since last year, with Bytedance leading the list with a significant decrease of $150 billion. Following closely behind were fintech giants Stripe and Klarna.

Canada adds 23 new unicorns since start of pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of countries with at least one unicorn has doubled, increasing from 24 to 48. Canada has added 23 new unicorns since the start of the pandemic. Furthermore, the number of cities with unicorns has grown from 118 three years ago to 271 presently. San Francisco remains the global unicorn capital with 181 unicorns, followed by New York, Beijing, and Shanghai. Bengaluru is home to 33 unicorns in India, and it shares its position on the list with the Chinese city of Shenzhen.

Fintech surpasses ecommerce as top unicorn-producing industry

Finally, the report highlighted that the fintech sector overtook ecommerce as the top unicorn-producing industry since COVID-19. Other sectors that saw the most significant disruptions from unicorns in the past year include enterprise services, blockchain, logistics, energy, life sciences, and aerospace.

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