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  • 26 Sep 2022

  • 26 Sep 2022

How a Startup becomes Unicorn?

What Is a Unicorn?

It refers to the private startup with a value of over 1 Billion Dollars, and this term was initially used by the venture capitalist Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy ventures when she referred to the 39 startups that had a valuation of over $1 billion as unicorns.

It is usually used in the venture capital industry. The investors of unicorn are tend to be private investors or venture capitalists because of their sheer size. These are out of reach of retail investors.


The unicorn startups are associated with some unique features. There are some features that are commonly found across all the unicorns. These are:

Disruptive Innovation:

Most of the unicorns have brought disruption in the sector they belong to. For example, Uber has changed the way of commuting, Snapchat has disrupted the use of social media networks, and also Airbnb has changed the plan of people while traveling and staying.

The Initial Stage:

It is observed that unicorns probably begin their journey as a startup in their industry. They bring changes to the way people do things and created a necessity for themselves. They also maintain their innovation and keep their hold ahead in front of competitors.

High on Tech:

The business model of unicorns runs on tech. For example, Uber got the business model accepted by crafting a friendly app. Airbnb made the best world wide web. Unicorns mostly come with software, hardware, also other products and services.


Unicorns are also B2C companies. It makes the work, services, and things convenient for the customers. It assists the customers properly and keeps things affordable for them, which attracts the interest of more customers towards it.

Privately Owned:

Most unicorns are privately owned which gets their valuation bigger when an established company invests in it.

Characteristics of a Unicorn

Most unicorns have the following characteristics:

Unique Problem-Solving Abilities

The startups must be dedicated to brings some unique innovations to deal with the existing problems in the market. It is necessary to make the way of customers easy in getting updates of the services provided by the startups. It should understand the requirements and concerns of the clients and solve their issues. This problem-solving ability of startups would attract more customers and will help it become a unicorn.


It means placing the interest of the customer at priority, and also at the center of everything. Being consumer-centric highlights their interest. It shows its attributes in understanding the needs, wants, and interests, and ultimately building strong relationships with them.

Most of the unicorns are associated with B2C business models, which have the key feature to provide consumers with goods and services at affordable prices.

Giving priority to customers not only increases their value but also promotes new value, which keeps them satisfied all the time. Any company always maintains the interest of the current customers, along with gaining new ones. It brings benefits a hundredfold, and therefore builds a strong bond with them.

Technologically Driven

Most of the unicorns are based on technology which brings an efficient way for the startups. Tech helps startups to grow their businesses and facilitates proper functioning within limited resources. It helps in making the work easier, and faster and also enables effective communication. It brings efficiency to the work and makes all the techniques better.

List of Top 10 Unicorn Startups in India 2022

1. PhonePe

Unicorn, startups, India, PhonePe

PayTM is an Indian Multinational technology, that shows its attribute in being a leading financial services company that offers payments transactions & financial solutions and online platforms. The full form describes it as - Pay Through Mobile.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder, and CEO of the company has made it one of the leading online payment methods, which is convenient to use by people across the country. Most people in India use their QR code payment system for accepting payments directly into their bank accounts and Paytm wallets. It has a current day valuation of around $2 Billion and has certainly come a long way.

2. BYJUs

Unicorn, startups, India, Byjus

The company aims to serve the people with coaching through online video lectures for the students of classes 1 to 12, and also for people who prepare themselves for competitive exams like IIT - JEE, NEET, CAT, and others.

It has associated itself with a learning app, which was launched in 2015, bringing remarkable progress to the platform. It marks its attribute in getting aligned with millions of subscribers. It helps many students to learn by associating them with the teachers, personalized learning, and theoretical learning.

It shows its attribute to be unbiased by focusing on all the students, and not only those who are focused and interested in their learning and studies. It motivates the students to learn with enthusiasm. It claims to have more than 80 Million students, including 5.5 million annual paid subscribers. It witnessed revenue growth at a compound annual growth rate of 125% over the past three years to about $400 million.

3. Ola

Unicorn, startups, India, Ola

With an initiative to serve the people with proper transportation services, Ola has brought cabs for the customers. It is considered the most convenient, relaxed, and comfortable means of transportation. They give us the ease and convenience of moving from the doorsteps to the exact destination at the proper time.

Ola is the best option to get cab booking with ease. These are associated with extra comfort and luxury for travelers. It marks its attribute in offering cabs to the people with comfortable services. It also has access to the international platform and started operations in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Its services include vehicle for Hire, Food Delivery, and Delivery. Established as a separate entity, and reached unicorn status with a $250 million investment from SoftBank.

4. Zomato

Unicorn, startups, India, Zomato

Zomato aims to connect a wide range of customers with different restaurants on one platform. The company was launched in 2008 and is keeping the customers engaged for 14 years. Focusing on the benefits of clients, it is mandatory to review the competitors in the market, like how they are positioning themselves.

It also includes asking for their feedback and listening to what they are saying about the services and products offered by the company. The company has increased its global position in the business, by producing many streams of income, which helps it to make a profit in hundredfold. In 2018, Zomato shifted gears becoming a unicorn following multiple rounds of investment by the Chinese-owned Alibaba affiliate Ant group, which skyrocketed its valuation to $2 billion.


Unicorn, startup, India, CRED

CRED brings businesses on board and forms tie-ups with them. It includes sponsored companies and makes deals with them. To make the deals happen, CRED has to include sponsored companies and create deals with them. The customers who use CRED are the potential customers who use credit cards, which attracts the interest of the companies and they makes deal with the platform.

CRED is a completely free app, which in return provides rewards and cashback from different businesses. CRED Four of Delta is the points and rewards that they give to their users. Many people do not pay their credit card bills on time. Also, some people pay their credit card bills on time but do not get any benefits. It marks its importance in fulfilling the gap in the market. It pays the highest rewards to those who pay their credit card bills through this platform. People can use those credit points in many places. CRED is a Unicorn that has a value of around $6.4 billion.

[The images are being taken from the registered companies and belong to their respective owners only.]