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ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2023

The start-up is required to have a minimum valuation of US$200mn INR 1,650 crore.

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ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2023 is a snapshot of India’s start-up ecosystem. This is an index of the most valuable private equity or venture capital-funded companies in India founded after 2000, ranked according to their latest funding round valuation.

To feature in the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2023, the start-up is required to have a minimum valuation of US$200mn (INR 1,650 crore).

Hurun Research found 147 Indian future Unicorns from 25 cities. On average, they were set up in 2015, with the vast majority selling software and services, with only 20% selling physical products. 37% are selling to businesses, while 63% are consumer-facing. Future Unicorns were seen disrupting financial services, healthcare, business management solutions and education.

Speaking at the launch, Rajesh Saluja, CEO & MD, ASK Private Wealth said, “The Indian start-up ecosystem is a dynamic force, brimming with immense potential and boundless opportunities. At ASK Private Wealth we have witnessed firsthand the relentless spirit and ingenuity of entrepreneurs who are shaping the future. We are committed to supporting this thriving ecosystem by providing not just financial expertise, but also mentorship and networking platforms, especially in the current funding climate. Despite the headwinds, we have seen founders demonstrating unwavering determination, adaptability, and resourcefulness. The funding winter serves as a catalyst for innovation, urging start-ups to think creatively, optimise resources and refine their strategies. It is during these times that the true spirit of entrepreneurship shines through. The 51 Gazelles and 96 Cheetahs in this index likely to go Unicorn in the next 5 years are a testimony to this.”

“At ASK Private Wealth, we understand that start-up founders face unique financial challenges and complexities on their entrepreneurial journey. We recognize the value of providing strategic guidance and comprehensive financial solutions tailored to their specific needs. Our experienced team of advisors offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise, assisting founders in navigating the intricacies of wealth management, investment strategies, and risk mitigation. Beyond financial acumen, we also serve as trusted partners, offering mentorship, connections to industry experts, and a supportive network. We believe that by alleviating the burden of wealth management, founders can focus on what they do best—innovating, scaling their businesses, and making a lasting impact. We are dedicated to empowering start-up founders, helping them build a solid foundation for sustainable growth and achieving their long-term goals.” he added.

Hurun India Founder and Chief Researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said: “The Hurun Future Unicorns: Gazelles Index is a comprehensive list of the India’s startups most likely to ‘go unicorn’ within three years and Cheetahs are expected to go unicorn in 5 years. Gazelles and Cheetahs provide an insight into the economy of tomorrow.  What they are doing and where they are doing it gives an indication into which sectors are attracting the world’s top young talent and smartest capital, and which countries and cities have the best start-up ecosystems.”

“While rising interest rates and global uncertainties have dramatically reduced the appetite of investors to put money into start-ups in the past half year, there are nonetheless 147 companies, a new record, that Hurun Research believes are most likely to ‘go unicorn’ within five years.”

“The speed of value creation in the India’s most disruptive industries is remarkable. 135 future unicorns were founded after the year 2010, of which 10 of these Gazelles and Cheetahs were founded since Covid – meaning some of these most valuable companies did not even exist 3 years back!”

“The slow-down in the economy has been tough for certain companies, with almost 20% of last year’s Gazelles / Cheetahs either dropping off the list or being downgraded. Hurun Research believes these companies could take could no longer go unicorn within three years. Rising interest rates and geopolitical headwinds have combined to make it harder for start-ups to raise capital.”

“ASK Private Wealth – Hurun India Future Unicorns: Gazelles and Cheetahs Index is compiled using data from the India’s leading venture capitalists, making this perhaps the most comprehensive list of the India’s future unicorns.”

“The ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index is the pipeline for future unicorns, with 80% of last year’s new unicorns coming from the index.”

“The fastest-growing sectors of the year were Consumer Services, HealthTech and Food & Beverages, followed by SaaS, Logistics, Electric Vehicle and AI.”

“Industries that have been most disrupted by future unicorns are Financial Services, Healthcare and Business Management Solutions.”

“The average age of the Hurun Gazelles is only eight years, suggesting that if you were to start-up today, you should aim to build a Gazelle by 2031! This list represents the best companies under a billion. The average age of Hurun Cheetahs is eight years”

“Which countries are most likely to produce unicorns in the next three years? The US and China dominate with two thirds of the world’s known Gazelles, despite representing only a quarter of the world’s population. The rest of the world is currently led by India, the UK, Germany, Israel and Singapore.”

“A successful start-up ecosystem requires role models, both individuals, such as those from the Hurun Rich Lists, and companies, such as those from the Hurun Global Unicorn and Hurun Global 500 most valuable companies series. If a city or country can attract the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and companies to set up shop there, that will have a roll-on effect. Entrepreneurship is infectious and cities with lots of role models are likely to attract the brightest and best young entrepreneurs. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.”

“The role of investors is evolving from just providers of cash to mentorship and scale-up opportunities. India’s leading Gazelle and Cheetah venture capitalists are building ecosystems with their portfolios, hugely attractive to the world’s fastest-growing start-ups. Being able to say you have one of these brands as an investor adds significant credibility. Peak XV Partners is the India’s most successful VC platform at finding and investing into Gazelles and Cheetahs, followed by InnoVen Capital, Tiger Global Management, Accel and Blume Ventures.”

“What the Gazelles do gives an indication of the problems they are offering solutions to. In India, for example, quick commerce company Zepto, financial services start-up Vivriti Capital and EV space start-up Ather Energy are expected to play a critical role in solving credit, last mile logistics and renewable energy for India.  In the US, companies Virgin Hyperloop and vehicle automation start-up Robotic Research are making an impact.”

“Hurun Report is committed to promoting entrepreneurship through its lists and research. Hurun’s ‘start-up series’ has four main components. It begins with the Hurun U30s Entrepreneurs to Watch, a list of the top entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Next up are the two future unicorn lists: Hurun Cheetahs, most likely to ‘go unicorn’ within 5 years and currently with a valuation of between US$200 million and US$500 million, and Hurun Gazelles, most likely to ‘go unicorn’ within 3 years and currently with a valuation of between US$500 million and US$1 billion. The Hurun Global Unicorn Index is the pinnacle of the world’s start-ups.”

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