Akin to YCombinator’s investment strategy, 9Unicorns aims to create Airbnb, DoorDash kind of Unicorns over the next five years
MUMBAI: Even as Airbnb and DoorDash went for a smashing IPO last week, their earliest investor YCombinator (YC), came out as a big winner, and those who rejected these companies had a FOMO (fear of missing out) moment. On IPO, Airbnb and DoorDash soared to $100 billion and $72 billion market cap, respectively, indicating stellar returns to YCombinator in the 100x – 1000x range from these early investments. The start-up investment revolution started by YC in 2005 has spread to other major economies, including India, which has also witnessed the birth of many accelerators and incubators over the last few years. One accelerator that is playing a similar role as YC in the Indian market is Mumbai-based 9Unicorns. It has emerged as the fastest growing and most aggressive player with 32 deals in the first year of launch. YC had invested in 24 start-ups in the first year of its launch.
The Rs 300-crore sector-agnostic fund, from the stable of India’s leading integrated incubator Venture Catalysts (VCats), has invested in nearly three start-ups every month on an average in its maiden year 2020. With hundreds of start-ups getting screened every month, 9Unicorns is quite stringent with its selection process. It rejects 90 start-up applications for every start-up selected to ensure excellence. The process helps the fund create category leaders and improves these start-ups’ chance to become the next Unicorn. For example, a few of its investee stock, Janani AI, and Qin1, have already advanced to raise next rounds at significantly higher valuations within six months of investment. It has so far invested in DeepTech, B2B SaaS, Media, FMCG, FinTech, InsureTech, HealthTech, and EduTech sectors.
On 9Unicorns’ potential in investing and creating high growth companies, Abhijeet Pai, Partner at 9Unicorns, stated, ” The world we live in today has necessitated the adoption of technology. Comprising of the world’s largest youth, both India and Indian startups stand to gain greatly from the new-age consumer and enterprise. At 9unicorns we endeavor to bring in a tectonic shift in the idea/early-stage investing and hope to demonstrate long term value creation and disruption. We believe India will showcase a number of wealth creators in the years to come and believe these would be at par with the best globally.”
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