In 2011, India’s startup ecosystem witnessed a historic moment when Inmobi became India’s first unicorn. This event marked the beginning of a new era in the Indian startup scene, which has since then witnessed a remarkable surge in unicorn startups. Today, India is home to over 100 unicorns, accounting for nearly 10% of the world’s estimated 1000 unicorns.
Inmobi was founded in 2007 by Naveen Tewari, Abhay Singhal, Amit Gupta, and Mohit Saxena. The company started as a mobile ad network but later expanded into other segments such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and mobile-first consumer engagement platforms. Inmobi’s innovative and tech-driven approach helped it to become a global leader in mobile advertising. The company’s success can be attributed to its focus on user experience and data-driven insights, which allowed it to deliver highly targeted and personalized ad campaigns.
Journey to become the first unicorn startup of India
Inmobi’s journey to unicorn status was not easy. The company had to overcome several challenges, including intense competition from established players like Google and Facebook, as well as regulatory hurdles. However, Inmobi’s resilience, coupled with its innovative business model, enabled it to succeed and eventually become India’s first unicorn. Inmobi’s success also inspired other entrepreneurs and startups in India, who saw the potential of the Indian market and began to focus on developing innovative products and services.
Since Inmobi’s success in 2011, India’s startup ecosystem has witnessed a significant surge in unicorn startups. According to a report by CB Insights, India added 12 new unicorns in 2020, despite the pandemic’s economic impact. These unicorns operate in various sectors such as e-commerce, fintech, healthcare, and edtech. The rise of unicorns in India has been fueled by several factors such as a large and growing consumer base, a favourable regulatory environment, access to funding, and a thriving startup ecosystem.
Startup Ecosystem in India
One of the significant factors driving the growth of unicorns in India is the large and growing consumer base. India has a population of over 1.3 billion people, and a significant proportion of them are young and tech-savvy. This demographic presents a massive opportunity for startups to develop innovative products and services that cater to their needs. For instance, e-commerce unicorns like Flipkart and Paytm Mall have been successful in tapping into India’s growing online shopping market, which is projected to reach $200 billion by 2027.