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Groww becomes latest member of India's fast-growing unicorn club

'Feels like we just got started': Groww CEO Lalit Keshre


Another day, another unicorn. When the term "unicorn", referring to the mythical and supposedly magical single-horned horse, was given to startup companies that achieved a billion dollars in valuation, it was because such achievements were considered rare and out of the ordinary. Something that was supposed to happen, to use another term, once in a blue moon.

Perhaps the lexicology experts had better go back to their dictionaries and dig up something better. For, it seems to be raining unicorn companies left, right and centre in India right now, the pandemic be damned.

On Wednesday evening, Groww, the online investment platform which made investing in mutual funds and dabbling in stocks simple for ordinary Indians, became the latest unicorn, after its latest round of funding led by Tiger Global took its valuation past one billion dollars (roughly more than Rss 7,000 crore).

“We started Groww to make investing accessible and transparent to everyone in India. We have made good progress, but it feels (like) we just got started," remarked Lalit Keshre, CEO and co-founder of Groww, announcing the latest round of funding.

The unicorn club presents a rather overcrowded foyer this week though. Yesterday, CRED, which rewards users who pay their credit card and utility bills through the app, was the one hitting the milestone. One day before, it was the Facebook-backed social commerce entity Meesho. And on Monday, kickstarting an incredible week of value gain, was PharmEasy, online medicine and telemarketing firm.

That’s not all. As many as eight companies have achieved the coveted unicorn status this year—and it is only April. Before the fab four of this week, the companies that hit the milestone include Digit Insurance, Innovaccer, Infra.market and Five-Star Business Finance.

Last year’s count wasn’t bad, either—a total of eight unicorns emerged from India in 2020. But by all measures, it seems as if 2021 will beat the pandemic year hands down.

These startup’s success is all the more stupendous considering how they all started functioning just in the last few years. CRED has launched barely three years ago, while Groww, Wednesday’s wonder, was launched by four former Flipkart executives (or the "Flipkart mafia", as they refer to themselves) in 2016. It claims to have more than one crore users.

CB Insights had listed Groww in its list of the world’s most promising fintech companies recently.

But as "unicorn" becomes commonplace, perhaps it is time to think bigger. How about "decacorn", which stands for a company with a ten billion dollar valuation perhaps? For the record, only three Indian startups are already in this club—PayTM, Oyo and Byju’s.

Meanwhile, startup India’s appetite has been whetted. Who will now be the unicorn champ of Thursday?!


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