scorecardStartups in these sectors beat funding winter, attract young talent and capital
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Startups in these sectors beat funding winter, attract young talent and capital

Startups in these sectors beat funding winter, attract young talent and capital
Business3 min read
  • India retains the third place among the countries with the most number of unicorns.
  • Most unicorns came from fintech, SaaS, e-commerce, AI and healthtech.
  • Currently, there are 171 fintech unicorns worldwide, with an increase of 32 from the previous year.
The year of 2023 has been a bad year for the once booming startups, as the funding winter has taken a turn for the worse. Startups have also laid off many people, as fewer funds flowed in.

However, startups from a few sectors, from where the world’s most successful unicorns come from, are still attracting top young talent and smart capital, says the Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2023.

Outside the US and China, India is the leader in terms of countries which have seen a boom in unicorns. India has maintained its position in the top three countries with the highest number of unicorns, which now stands at 68.

The most valuable unicorn is BYJU'S, an online education company worth $22 billion, followed by Swiggy, an on-demand delivery startup, and Dream11, a fantasy sports platform, both valued at $8 billion each.

Interestingly, India has co-founded 70 unicorns outside of India compared with 68 in India. This takes the number of unicorns Indians have founded across the world to 138.

Here are the top sectors from which the unicorns come from.

Fintech: Currently, there are 171 fintech unicorns worldwide, with an increase of 32 from the previous year, making it the industry with the highest number of unicorns. Among the fintech unicorns, 20% are related to payment technology.

The three most valuable fintech unicorns are Ant Group, valued at $120 billion, followed by Stripe, a payments platform valued at $50 billion, and WeBank, valued at $33 billion. The total value of fintech unicorns is $728 billion, which represents 17% of the total value of all unicorns, highlighting the dominance of fintech in the unicorn ecosystem.

SaaS: SaaS is the second industry with the highest number of unicorns, with a total of 136. Among the SaaS unicorns, the most valuable are Canva, an Australia-based company valued at $21 billion, followed by Shanghai-based Xiaohongshu valued at $14 billion, and Munich-based Celonis valued at $13 billion. The total value of all SaaS unicorns is $437 billion.

E-commerce: The e-commerce industry has a total of 120 unicorns, with a combined value of $364 billion. The most valuable e-commerce unicorns are apparel retailer Shein, valued at $65 billion, followed by J&T Express, based in Indonesia and valued at $15 billion, and San Francisco-based Faire, valued at $12 billion.

The United States has the largest number of e-commerce unicorns, with 35, followed by China with 24 and India with 17.

Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the fourth industry with the highest number of unicorns, boasting a total of 105, which represents an increase of 21 from the previous year. San Francisco-based OpenAI, with a valuation of $20 billion, leads the industry followed by Grammarly, valued at $13 billion, and Talkdesk, valued at $10 billion.

HealthTech: HealthTech is the fifth largest sector with 92 unicorns, which is an increase of 12 from the previous year, representing 6.8% of all unicorns. San Francisco has experienced the most unicorn activity in the HealthTech industry and is home to 18 unicorns. The most valuable HealthTech startups are Ro, based in New York, and WeDoctor, based in Hangzhou, both valued at $7 billion each, followed by Hinge Health, valued at $6.2 billion.


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