now rank high
in India Top 75
After a two-year slowdown, both local and overseas venture capitalists have resumed funding Indian start-ups, potentially adding to India’s total of around 10 unicorns—start-ups valued at over $1 billion. Three unicorns appear high in ranks of the 2018 India Top 75: Ola No. 21 is in the transport category; No. 12 Paytm is in payments; and No. 11 Flipkart is in retail.
Founded in 2010, the ride-sharing brand Ola operates in over 110 Indian cities and recently expanded to Australia. It competes head-to-head with Uber, even in food delivery. Ola acquired Foodpanda, a food delivery service, at the end of 2017.
The growing affluence and changing preferences of Indian consumers contribute to the success of both brands. Over 70 percent of Indians have delayed an intended car purchase in part because of greater access to ride sharing, according to a recent Kantar Millward Brown study. The study also found that of people who own a car or intend to buy one, 88 percent say using an aggregator is cheaper than owning a car.
Paytm, launched in 2010 as a digital wallet, is evolving into a multi-brand ecosystem with the addition of its Inbox feature, which provides content, including news and live TV. Paytm also operates online mall. Use of Paytm spiked with demonetization in November 2016, when the government removed particular currency denominations from the market to curtail corruption and accelerate digitization of payments. The brand’s valuation increased dramatically.
The giant e-commerce merchant Flipkart, similar to Amazon and Alibaba, was established in 2007 by former Amazon employees. Flipkart and Amazon battle fiercely for dominance across categories, with Flipkart leading in smartphones. When the brand agreed to sell a 77 percent stake to Walmart, the pending deal set off protests by Indian retail organizations.