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Weekly rundown: Mamaearth, GlobalBees turn unicorns as India’s big start-up year draws to a close

Weekly rundown: Mamaearth, GlobalBees turn unicorns as India’s big start-up year draws to a close

As per data sourced from Venture Intelligence, new-age digital start-ups bagged a record $32.8 billion investments in 2021, as of December 17.

Weekly rundown: Mamaearth, GlobalBees turn unicorns as India’s big start-up year draws to a close Weekly rundown: Mamaearth, GlobalBees turn unicorns as India’s big start-up year draws to a close

E-commerce roll-up company GlobalBees and personal care brand Mamaearth have become the latest unicorns in what has been a phenomenal year for the Indian start-up ecosystem.

SoftBank-backed GlobalBees secured $111.5 million in a Premji Invest-led Series B funding round that valued the start-up at $1.1 billion. The round also saw participation from existing investors including SoftBank and FirstCry, while Steadview Capital becomes the latest investor to back the company. GlobalBees is the second Thrasio-style start-up to turn unicorn this year after Mensa Brands as the demand for online D2C brands picks up. 

Honasa Consumer, parent entity behind personal care brands such as Mamaearth and The Derma Co, achieved the unicorn status with its latest growth round. Led by Sequoia Capital, the company secured about $37 million as a part of its Series F funding round this week. The company had raised $50 million at $730 million valuation in July.

With the addition of these two in the last week of the year, India has created 43 unicorns in 2021.

Six-month-old Mensa Brands, launched by former Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan, became India's fastest unicorn and the first e-commerce brand aggregator to become a unicorn in November.

Homegrown edtech start-up Byju’s is now the most valuable Indian start-up, 13th most valuable start-up in the world, and the most valuable edtech start-up in the world.

As per data sourced from Venture Intelligence, new-age digital start-ups bagged a record $32.8 billion investments in 2021, as of December 17.  Adding the investments raised during the remaining days of the month, it marks over 200 per cent year-on-year (YoY) increase in start-up funding as compared to the $11.2 billion investments seen in 2020. Investments into India's start-up ecosystem in 2019 stood at $13 billion.

The deal volume in 2021, according to the study, also increased by almost 28 per cent YoY as of December 17. The number of deals in 2021 stood at 1,009 as compared to 788 deals in 2020 and 879 in 2019.

The Venture Intelligence study stated that edtech decacorn Byju’s bagged the largest investor round at $1.39 billion, which saw participation of Footpath Ventures, GSV Ventures, ADQ, Owl Ventures, B Capital Group, Prosus Ventures, Silver Lake, and Blackstone, among others. 

It was followed by gaming unicorn Dream11’s $840-million capital raise from RedBird Capital Partners, Footpath Ventures, D1 Capital Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, DST Global, TPG Capital and Tiger Global.

Food delivery giant Swiggy’s $800-million funding round was the third largest VC-led capital raise in the start-up ecosystem in 2021. Think Investments, Wellington Management, Prosus Ventures, Qatar Investment Authority, Falcon Edge Capital, Amansa Capital, Accel India, GIC, Goldman Sachs and others participated in the funding round. 

Mumbai-based edtech firm Eruditus bagged $650 million in August from investors such as Accel USA, CPPIB, and SoftBank Corp. 

The fifth biggest funding round was that of social commerce unicorn, Meesho, which raised $645 million from Footpath Ventures, Good Capital, B Capital Group, Prosus Ventures, Trifecta Capital, CapitalG, Fidelity India, SoftBank Corp, and Symphony International Holdings and others. 

The data on investments in 2021 did not take into consideration the $3.6 billion raised by e-commerce giant Flipkart in July, which was the homegrown e-tailer's first capital raise since it was bought by retail behemoth Walmart in 2018.  

Also Read: GlobalBees joins unicorn club with $111.5 mn funding led by Premji Invest

Also Read: Sequoia is world’s top unicorn investor for 2nd year in a row: Hurun Research 

Published on: Dec 31, 2021, 5:59 PM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, Dec 31, 2021, 5:50 PM IST