2021 was undoubtedly the year of Omicron and unicorns. In India, there are around 94 unicorns (billion-dollar start-ups) with a total valuation of USD 319.67 billion, 44 of which were created in 2021 and have a total valuation of USD 94.37 billion. The most Indian unicorns were born in the years 2021, 2020, and 2019, with 44, 10, and 9 unicorns born each year, respectively. However, there has not been a parallel increase in the number of female founders at these companies, though this is steadily improving. The following is a list of female unicorn founders.
Pristyn Care co-founder Garima Sawhney
Dr. Garima Sawhney is one of the co-founders of Pristyn Care, a healthcare firm that offers minimally invasive surgical treatments in a number of Indian locations. From its inception in 2018 to its present valuation of $553 million in early 2021, the company has grown to serve roughly 50,000 patients per month.
Sawhney, a doctor from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences in Gurugram, has worked at Max Super Speciality Hospital and CK Birla Hospital. She is Known as Dr. Yes because she is approachable, ethical and a problem solver.
Pristyn Care received $96 million in Series E investment in 2021. The firm is now valued at $1.4 billion, making it a unicorn. Pristyn Care is a technology platform supported by Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global that uses extra capacity in hospitals to establish multispecialty clinics and operation centres.
Ruchi Kalra, co-founder of OfBusiness
With her spouse Asish Mohapatra and others, Kalra co-founded B2B commerce and lending platform OfBusiness. The husband-and-wife team has made history by becoming the first couple to own and operate unicorns on their own. She is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and the Indian School of Business. This year, the company intends to go public. Before co-founding OfBusiness, Kalra worked for the management consulting firm McKinsey.
The Gurugram-based company secured $160 million in new capital in July 2021, led by Japan's SoftBank Vision Fund-II. The startup was valued at roughly $1.5 billion in the round. As a result, the company became a member of the unicorn club.
Ghazal Alagh, co-founder of Mamaearth
Alagh and her husband Varun are co-founders of Honasa Consumer Private Limited, which operates under the new-age skincare and bodycare brand Mamaearth. Ghazal was also a shark/investor on Shark Tank India, a prominent entrepreneurship show in India. Ghazal is known for putting each new Mamaearth product to the test on her before it is released to the general public, in order to check for side effects and other issues.
Mamaearth Is The First Unicorn Of 2022, Raising $52 Million To Value It At $1.2 Billion. Mamaearth, founded in 2016 by the husband-and-wife duo of Varun and Ghazal Alagh, has quickly become one of India's most popular new-age consumer brands, particularly in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) category.
Smita Deorah, co-founder and co-CEO of LEAD School
LEAD is a digital platform that allows schools to use smart classrooms, professional teachers, and an international curriculum to improve learning. Smitha Deorah is a certified accountant with over eight years of experience working at Procter & Gamble. She and her husband, Sumeet Mehta, manage LEAD. She is an Education and Social Entrepreneur who is passionate about changing education in India. She is the Director of K12 Schools and School Solutions, with the goal of bringing excellent education to underserved areas of India at an affordable cost.
LEAD School received $95 million in Series E funding from WestBridge Capital in January 2022. The new funding round, which also included GSV Ventures brings LEAD School's total funding to $170 million, has increased the startup's valuation to $1.1 billion, making it a Unicorn.
Hasura co-founder Rajoshi Ghosh
Hasura, which Ghosh co-founded, was the tenth start-up to enter India's unicorn in 2021-22. The startup speeds up the creation of web apps by reducing the time and skill needed to create GraphQL APIs for data access. She graduated from the National University of Singapore and co-founded 34 Cross, a product development firm whose concept inspired Hasura.
Hasura, a Bengaluru and New York-based open-source engine, raised $100 million in a fundraising round headed by Greenoaks in February 2022, valuing the firm at $1 billion.
Upasana Taku, co-founder of Mobikwik
MobiKwik's Upasana Taku is one of its co-founders. Her goal is to make it easier for Indian shops to accept credit cards. Her current goal is to get a million merchants on board with the MobiKwik payment network. She also oversees MobiKwik's bank partnerships, business operations, and personnel acquisition.
Taku and her husband Bipin Preet Singh developed Mobikwik, a mobile wallet and buy-now-pay-later platform. She is a Stanford graduate. Because of Paytm's dramatic IPO failure, the company became a unicorn and received regulatory approval to float an IPO, but had to call off its listing plans after filing documents. Taku previously worked in the United States for PayPal and HSBC before returning to India to launch his company.
Zenoti co-founder Saritha Katikaneni
Saritha Katikaneni is the co-founder of Zenoti, a platform that provides software solutions to spas and salons across the globe. She worked as the company's Vice President for 9 years before taking a sabbatical in 2019.
In 2010, Katikaneni co-founded Zenoti, a software platform for spas and salons. The platform was initially only available in the United States, but it was eventually expanded to other nations as well. She has been the company's vice-president of marketing for the past nine years. With a $160 million funding round in 2020, Zenoti became a unicorn.
Nykaa co-founder Falguni Nayar
Nayar, a former senior banker at Kotak and an IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus, founded Nykaa, a beauty e-commerce website, in 2012. In recent years, she has been the face of female entrepreneurship in India. Last year, she launched the company's initial public offering (IPO) with a valuation of more than USD 10 billion. Despite the fact that Nykaa's stock has plummeted since then, Nayar and her family still own 50% of the firm and run it financially.
Nykaa is an Indian e-commerce startup based in Mumbai. It provides beauty, wellness, and fashion products online, on mobile apps, and in 84 branch offices. It was the first unicorn business in India to be led by a woman in 2020.
Rivigo co-founder Gazal Kalra
Kalra co-founded transportation logistics platform Rivigo after graduating from IIT Delhi, Harvard, and Stanford. Elevation Capital and Warburg Pincus are among the investors in the company. Before founding Rivigo, she worked for McKinsey and was a consultant for the World Bank Group.
Rivigo, a surface logistics startup, has also joined the league of unicorns in 2019. In a capital round, the Gurugram-based firm was valued at about Rs 7,593 crore ($1.07 billion).
Divya Gokulnath, co-founder of Byju’s
Divya Gokulnath is a co-founder and director of Byju's, an educational technology company, and is an Indian entrepreneur and educator. At Byju's, Gokulnath is in charge of the content department.
Divya attended Frank Anthony Public School and graduated from Bengaluru's RV College of Engineering with a Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology.While Divya managed user experience, content, and brand marketing during the COVID-19 lockdown in India, Byju's provided free access, adding 13.5 million users in March and April 2020, for a total of 50 million, and reaching 70 million students and 4.5 million subscribers by September 2020.
Byju's becomes the 13th most valuable unicorn and the first Indian company to reach $21 billion in valuation. BYJUS Founder Byju Raveendran As of December 2021, Byju's is the sole Indian name on the list of the world's privileged unicorns.
In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the number of women becoming business executives and creating enterprises. As we progress in this direction, we must now take deliberate steps to promote proportionate capital to be channelled into women-owned businesses in order for them to join the unicorn club.