The word unicorn started trending in the beginning of 2018 and to define the term simply, it refers to startups which have a valuation of more than $ 1 billion. As this year comes to a close, here’s taking a look at all the different startups which entered the billion dollar club and earned themselves the unicorn status.
Zomato, a food delivery and restaurant discovery startup based out of Gurugram, raised over $ 200 million in a funding round held in February 2018 and since then, there is no stopping the growth of this particular startup. With multiple rounds of investment from various areas, the valuation of Zomato increased by leaps and bounds and right now, toward the close of 2018, this particular food tech startup has an estimated valuation of $ 1.1 billion!
Founded in the year 2013, service apartment provider Oyo entered the Unicorn Club in September by raising $ 1 billion from existing investor, SoftBank. Founded by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo has grown so much over the years in the last five years that it is now extremely popular in places like India, China, west Asia, the UK and the UAE.
When Byju’s was initially founded, the startup barely had a major presence in India. However, through the years, Byju’s grew to become the next Indian startup to enter the Unicorn Club! Standing at a valuation of approximately $ 2 billion, Byju’s became the first startup in the edutech field in India to be valued at more than a billion dollars!
4. Paytm Mall
A subset of Paytm, Paytm Mall came to be in 2016 and with an investment of $ 450 million from existing investors, Paytm Mall is now valued at more than one billion dollars! Using the investments to improve their existing features and to better the customer experience, Paytm Mall will likely achieve $ 10 billion in merchandise volume. Furthermore, with the investment Paytm received, the app is looking at allowing customers to walk into offline stores, scan products through QR codes, go through information about the products and finally, purchase the product through the app.
Food delivery startup Swiggy raised $ 1 billion from Naspers and post that, the startup has grown to stand at a valuation of over 3.3 billion dollars! Not only is Swiggy the second food tech startup to enter the billion dollar club, it is also the fastest startup in India which grew to reach that place. The startup entered the Unicorn Club in just under four years, a feat which is truly commendable.
Based out of Chennai, Freshworks is a software as a service (SaaS) provider, which entered the billion dollar club in August this year. Freshworks entered the Unicorn Club post securing a $ 100 million investment from Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and CapitalG!
With so many startups achieving the unicorn status through sheer hard work and dedication to innovation, the unicorn status is truly a coveted symbol to achieve. If you think we missed out on other startups in this field, comment and let us know!
Binny Bansal Sells ₹531 Crore Worth Flipkart Shares To Walmart
Binny Bansal, an Indian billionaire, entrepreneur and co founder of the e-commerce website Flipkart, sold $ 76.4 million worth of his shares in Flipkart to Walmart’s Luxembourg entity FIT Holdings SARL.
Binny Bansal, along with his partner Sachin Bansal, co founded the Flipkart and served as its Chief Executive Officer until January 2016.
Walmart, a multinational retail corporation, bought Flipkart in 2018 and back then, Bansal sold a small portion of his shares and held 3.85 % of stake.
Now, according to the documents filed by Flipkart with the regulators, Binny Bansal transferred 539,912 equity shares to FIT Holdings SARL. These shares are valued to be $ 76.4 million (approximately Rs. 531 crores.) This latest deal left him with only 3.52 % stake in Flipkart.
Vivek Durai, the founder of Paper.vc, a business intelligence platform, said, “With this transfer, Binny Bansal has monetised a small portion of his shareholdings. He had sold 1,122,433 shares for about $ 159 million during the Walmart takeover.”
According to his contract with Walmart, Binny Bansal is entitled to sell more than half of his shares to Walmart by August 2020 and he could gain around $ 400 million from this transaction.
Bansal, who is mostly based in Singapore, is now an investor in India’s startup ecosystem and is also the co founder of xto10X Technologies, which was launched last year.
In December 2018, Binny Bansal invested a sprawling $ 25 million dollars in the online insurance startup Acko. He also invested in several AI and healthtech startups.
Facebook Reveals Details Of Its Cryptocurrency Libra
On the 18th of June, Facebook revealed details of its brand new cryptocurrency called Libra. An alternative to cash, this cryptocoin can be used to buy things or send money to people with close to no fees. The cryptocurrency is going to be launched by an association called The Libra Association, which consists of a group of companies interested in getting Libra out into the world.
You can use Libra to buy or cash out your Libra at local stores like grocery stores and through third party wallet apps. To make using Libra an easier task, Facebook owned Calibra Wallet will be built into WhatsApp and Messenger, thereby simplifying transaction processes. Although certain countries have banned the use of cryptocurrencies, Facebook is trying to break new ground with the launch of Libra.
While Facebook is launching Libra, the social media giant is not going to be in complete control of the cryptocoin. The coin will be controlled by a consortium consisting of its founding members, Visa, Uber and Andreessen Horowitz. The three companies have invested at least $ 10 million each into the creation of this cryptocurrency.
Customers interested in holding or transferring the newly acquired token will be given multiple options to do what they wish. To further simplify matters, Facebook will let customers access transactions through this cryptocurrency via a special app designed for iOS and Android.
To protect the identity of its users while making transactions through the new app, Facebook won’t require you to share personal details. “The advent of the internet and mobile broadband has empowered billions of people globally to have access to the world’s knowledge and information, high fidelity communication, and a wide range of lowercost, more convenient services,” the Libra Association said in a paper announcing the cryptocurrency.
Libra will be made available to the world during the first half of 2020. As of now, Facebook is focusing on building relationships in international waters.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Facebook Invests In Indian Startup Meesho
On the 13th of June, social media giant Facebook announced, it invested an undisclosed amount in Indian startup Meesho.
A Bengaluru based startup, Meesho works with resellers and emerging brands using social media. This is the first time Facebook invested in a startup based in India. Through this investment, Facebook aims to increase its commitment to the Country’s vibrant internet ecosystem.
“Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development. We are excited about India and its rapidly rising Internet ecosystem. With this investment in Meesho, we want to fuel a business model that can result in rapid job creation and the rise of a female entrepreneurial class in India,” Ajit Mohan, the Managing Director of Facebook India, said in a statement.
It was two primary factors which made Facebook invest in Meesho. The first reason was how the startup is growing outside the Tier II and III cities, where new users are present. The second reason is, Meesho has a larger user base, 80 % of which are women.
So far, Meesho has raised $ 50 million from a Series C funding round in November last year. According to industry reports, the startup helps people using its service earn close to Rs. 25,000 every month! With WhatsApp playing a crucial role in the app’s growth, it comes as an added blessing that Facebook invested in this particular startup.
Through investments like these, Facebook is capitalizing on the social media boom happening in India.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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