Eight New Unicorns Emerge In 2018

Prelims level : Economy Mains level : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
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In News:

  • The year saw the emergence of eight new ‘unicorns,’ or start-ups valued at more than $1 billion, according to Venture Intelligence. These include hotel chain OYO, online insurance start-up Policy Bazaar, food delivery start-up Swiggy, Paytm Mall and education tech firm Byju’s in the business-to-consumer segment.
  • A unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion. The term was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures. A decacorn is a word used for those companies over $10 billion, while hectocorn is the appropriate term for such a company valued over $100 billion.


  • Private Equity (PE) investments in India rose to the highest-ever level of $33.1 billion in 2018, across 720 transactions
  • PE investments had already surpassed the previous high $24.3 billion across 734 deals in 2017 in the first nine months of 2018.
  • The mid-year Walmart-Flipkart deal clearly re-energized international investors’ appetite for mega bets in Indian Internet and mobile companies This has helped offset the slowdown in investments in sectors such as financial services manufacturing and infrastructure towards the year-end triggered by “nervousness in the public markets and the IL&FS scare”.
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