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Year Ender 2021: Byju’s world’s 13th most valuable start-up; ByteDance and SpaceX the only ‘hectocorns’

Year Ender 2021: Byju’s world’s 13th most valuable start-up; ByteDance and SpaceX the only ‘hectocorns’

Year Ender 2021: Byju’s is the only Indian name to feature in the list of the world’s elite unicorns as of December 2021. TikTok parent ByteDance and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are the only start-ups valued at over $100 billion.

According to CB Insights, BYJU’S has raised funding of over $5.18 billion since its inception in 2015 According to CB Insights, BYJU’S has raised funding of over $5.18 billion since its inception in 2015

Homegrown edtech startup Byju’s is now the 13th most valuable start-up in the world, as per CB Insights’ latest unicorn tracker.

The Byju Raveendran-owned decacorn is currently valued at $21 billion, which also makes it the world’s most valuable edtech start-up. Byju's is succeeded by Chinese edtech major Yuanfudao, which has a valuation of $15.5 billion.

The Bengaluru-based start-up’s rise has been particularly impressive in the last 20 months, where education went digital-first due to the compulsions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founder and CEO of BYJU's, Byju Raveendran

As a result, Byju's not only ramped up its user base and saw rapid growth in revenues, it also made a slew of acquisitions world over (8 this year) and raised billions of dollars in venture capital.

According to CB Insights, Byju's has raised funding of over $5.18 billion since its inception in 2015. Of this, $1.3 billion has come in 2021 alone.

The e-learning firm is backed by leading investors such as Tiger Global, General Atlantic, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent Holdings, Sequoia Capital India, Sofina, Qatar Investment Authority, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Owl Ventures, among others.

Interestingly, no other Indian start-up features in the list of top 50. A distant second at the 54th position is OYO (valued at $9.4 billion). CB Insights does not consider publicly listed companies as unicorns. Hence, the likes of Paytm, Nykaa, and Zomato (each valued at over $10 billion) don’t feature.

Bengaluru remains the favoured destination for startup entrepreneurs in India, with 25 unicorns located in the city. Gurgaon and Mumbai follow in terms of preferred cities for starting new businesses.

Also watch: Bengaluru remains favoured destination for startup entrepreneurs

Graphic: Mohsin Shaikh

Unicorn Map of the World

As of December 2021, there are 936 unicorns (private companies valued at over $1 billion) globally, with a cumulative valuation of $3,049 billion.

The US accounts for 51% of all unicorns in the world, CB Insights stated. China holds second place with an 18.1% share, while India claims the third spot with a 5.4% share after adding a staggering 40 unicorns in 2021. The UK, meanwhile, is home to 4% of the world’s unicorns.

“Fintech is the most highly represented category on our list, accounting for slightly over a fifth of all unicorns (20.4%). It is followed by internet software & services (17.8%), e-commerce and direct-to-consumer (10.9%), and Artificial Intelligence (7.8%),” CB Insights stated in its report.

TikTok parent ByteDance continues to be the world’s most valuable unicorn at $140 billion, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX became a hectocorn (companies valued over $100 billion) in 2021. The spacetech giant is now valued at $100.3 billion.

Graphic: Mohsin Shaikh

US fintech major Stripe ($95 billion), Swedish e-payments firm Klarna (45.6 billion), and Australia-based design SaaS sensation Canva ($40 billion) make up the remainder of the world’s top 5 most valuable start-ups, as per CB Insights.

Others in the top 10 are Instacart ($39 billion), Databricks ($38 billion), Revolut ($33 billion), Nubank ($30 billion), and Epic Games ($28.7 billion).  

“Forty-two private companies (4.5% of total unicorns) are considered decacorns, worth $10B+. Meanwhile, 24.6% of companies included in the global unicorn club are valued at exactly $1B,” CB Insights stated.

It added, “Since September 2021, the unicorn club has grown in size by 11% from 842 to 936 unicorns. At this rate, it is likely to break 1,000 by early 2022.”

Also read: India has second largest number of unicorns; Sequoia top investor, says PwC India report

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