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Hello new unicorns

Good morning!

Only two months into 2021 and the Indian startup ecosystem seems to be on a roll. As we predicted, this year is proving to be very exciting for the Indian startup ecosystem.

After insurtech startup Digit Insurance became the first unicorn of the year, on Thursday, two startups — Innovaccer and Infra.Market — entered the coveted club.

Healthtech startup Innovaccer, which was a 2015 YourStory’s Tech30 company, raised undisclosed funding led by Tiger Global at a valuation of $1.3 billion. 

Innovaccer founders

Innovaccer founders (from left): Sandeep Gupta, Abhinav Shashank and Kanav Hasija

On the other hand, B2B ecommerce company Infra.Market raised $100 million in a Series C round — also led by Tiger Global. 

Experts believe that India will have 100 unicorns by 2025. And seeing the rate at which startups are entering the unicorn club, the ecosystem seems to be well on track to achieve this milestone.

The Interview

While many edtech startups cater to students studying in schools accredited to national boards, the majority of students in India give state board exams. To cater to the market of 75 million entrance exam aspirants in Bharat, Vikram Shekhawat founded Pariksha in 2015. Starting from a few hundred aspirants, the startup now caters to millions of students, and Vikram says this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Editor’s Pick: App Friday

With movie theatres shut during the lockdown, many people flocked to OTT platforms in the search for entertainment. Aided by increased digitisation, video-streaming platforms saw a boost in popularity with as many as 40+ services crowding the Indian market. Presenting a differentiated offering, Discovery+ is an India-focused video-streaming service from Discovery Channel. Launched in March 2020, Discovery+ has already raked in over five million downloads on Google Play Store. Read more.

Discovery+ app

Startup Spotlight

Greenhive offers sustainable, plastic-free alternatives for daily use items

Plastic pollution is a burgeoning global problem, with India generating 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. In an effort to switch to non-harmful alternatives, Abhishek Deo and Gourav Sarangi founded ecommerce startup Greenhive in Rourkela in 2020. It partners with local manufacturers to procure sustainable products, such as bamboo toothbrushes, steel straws, eco-friendly shopping bags, and pure copper tongue cleaners. Read more.

Greenhive snapshot

Illustration: YS Design

News & Updates

  • Carl Pei’s consumer technology venture Nothing has roped in Manu Sharma, the former senior executive of Samsung Mobile, to oversee India operations as its vice-president and general manager. Sharma will be driving growth, business development, and operations.
  • Former Paytm Money CEO Pravin Jadhav launched his new startup Raise Financial Services. The startup raised an undisclosed amount in its first round of funding, which was led by Mirae Asset Venture Investments. Raise aims to build products and services centred around financially aware users in metros and Tier I and II cities and towns.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna

Arvind Krishna, the new CEO of IBM

“Inside the culture of an enterprise or firm, you’ve got to allow teams to be able to fail sometimes, but fail early and fail smart; don’t go on for a long time.”

Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM

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