India gets its 100th unicorn startup as neo-bank Open crosses billion-dollar valuation » - IPS BUSINESS SCHOOL

India gets its 100th unicorn startup as neo-bank Open crosses billion-dollar valuation

India gets its 100th unicorn startup as neo-bank Open crosses billion-dollar valuation

‘India has hit a century in style,’ says Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal; industry bodies call this an inspiring moment for the start-up ecosystem.

India got its 100th unicorn Monday when neo-banking fintech portal, Open, raised fresh capital to push up its value to over a billion dollars. The five-year-old Bengaluru-based neo-bank raised $50 million in a Series D funding round from IIFL, Singaporean state holding company Temasek, American investment firm Tiger Global and another Indian firm 3one4 Capital. This helped its valuation cross the $1 billion mark.

The funding comes just six months after Google, Temasek, Visa, and Japan’s SoftBank invested $100 million in the neo-bank start-up.

This funding signifies the enthusiasm in the Indian start-up ecosystem, which is the world’s third-largest according to Economic Survey, 2021-22. India overtook the UK to reach the spot after the US and China, which added 487 and 301 unicorns respectively, according to the survey.

As of January 2022, a record 44 Indian start-ups achieved unicorn status which took the overall tally of start-up unicorns to 83. With a total valuation of $277.77 billion, most of them are in the services sector, contributing over 50% to India’s GDP, according to the economic survey. Unicorns are those companies that have over $1 billion in valuation.

After this new strategic investment from Ola’s investor IIFL, Open will now be able to expand its product offerings to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Open, founded by Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, and Ajeesh Achuthan, claims to power over 2.3 million SMEs with over $30 billion in annualized transactions working towards automating business finances for small and medium firms.

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