UNICORN STARTUP (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Economy)

News-CRUX-10     26th August 2023        

Context: Zepto has raised $200 million in a Series E round of funding at a valuation of $1.4 billion, making the online grocery company India’s first unicorn of 2023, and lifting hopes in the startup ecosystem facing a prolonged funding winter.

    • India has emerged as the 3rd largest ecosystem for startups globally as of 31st May 2023. 
  • India ranks 2nd in innovation quality with top positions in the quality of scientific publications and the quality of its universities among middle-income economies.

Unicorn startup

  • About: Unicorns are privately held, venture-capital backed startups that have reached a value of $1 billion
      • The term was first popularised by venture capitalist Aileen Lee.
  • Very rare and require innovation: Because of their sheer size, unicorn investors tend to be private investors or venture capitalists, which means they are out of the reach of retail investors. 
  • Based on growth potential: The valuation of unicorns is not expressly linked to their current financial performance, but largely based on their growth potential as perceived by investors and venture capitalists who have taken part in various funding rounds.