top Indian unicorns funded by chinese firms

Did you know more than half of the Indian startup unicorns are invested by Chinese Investors? Yes, 18 out of 30 Indian unicorns have received Chinese investment. Out of $14.5 billion received by the Indian startup ecosystem in 2019, $4 billion was invested by the Chinese investors alone. Let’s take a look at Indian startup unicorns that have raised investment from Chinese investors.

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Paytm

Founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in 2010, Paytm started as an online recharge platform for prepaid mobile, DTH, and data card with an initial investment of $2 million from the founder himself. Chinese technology giant Alibaba owns over 40% stake in Paytm. If we talk about overall Chinese ownership, both Alibaba and SAIF Partners together own about 60% of Paytm.

Flipkart

Founded by Sachin and Binny Bansal, Flipkart was started as an online bookstore back in 2007. Today, Flipkart has grown to become India’s largest e-commerce platform.

This Walmart-owned e-commerce giant has raised $300 million from China’s Tencent Holdings and Steadview Capital.

OYO

Founded by an 18-year-old college drop-out Ritesh Agarwal in 2012, OYO started as Oravel Stays by adopting Airbnb’s concept but after Ritesh’s stint at Thiel Fellowship, he pivoted to aggregating budget hotels which had a bigger market opportunity in India leading to the birth of OYO in 2013.

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OYO raised $100 million from Chinese transportation company Didi Chuxing.

Ola

Founded by Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati in 2010, Ola aims to build mobility solutions for a billion people.

Ola connects over 1.5 million drivers with millions of customers serving more than a billion rides every year across 250 cities in India and also countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. In 2018, Chinese gaming behemoth Tencent helped Ola raise a massive $1.1 billion round, making it a 10.4% stakeholder in the company.

Other Chinese investors in Ola include Steadview Capital, China Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund, and Sailing Capital.

Udaan

Founded by former Flipkart employees Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta, and Amod Malviya in 2016, Udaan offers a technology platform that connects traders, retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers on a single platform. Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings and Hillhouse Capital helped Udaan raise a massive $585 million in 2019.

Swiggy

Founded by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jaimini in 2014, Swiggy started its operations as a hyperlocal food delivery platform by partnering up with a few restaurants in Bengaluru.

Today, Swiggy now has more than 1,40,000 restaurants on its platform serving 20 million customers in over 500 cities across India. Swiggy raised $2 million from Accel and Hong Kong-based SAIF Partners in 2015.

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Chinese giants like Meituan-Dianping, Tencent Holdings, and Hillhouse Capital Group have invested an estimated more than $500 million.

Zomato

Founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in 2008, Zomato started as a search and discovery platform for restaurants in the Delhi-NCR region as Foodiebay.

It was later rebranded as Zomato in 2010 and started food its delivery service in 2015.

This food tech startup has raised more than $900 million but over $750 million comes from Alibaba’s Ant Financial alone, making it one of Zomato’s largest shareholders.

BigBasket

Founded by Abhinay Choudhari, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh, VS Sudhakar in 2011, BigBasket is one of India’s largest online food and grocery delivery startup offering over 60,000 products from 1,000 brands.

BigBasket has raised over $1 billion from foreign investors and more than $300 million has come from China’s Alibaba Group. With a 26.26% stake in the company, Alibaba is BigBasket’s largest shareholder.

Snapdeal

Founded by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal in 2010, Snapdeal is a value-focused online marketplace offering products required by the people who are coming online for the first time.

Out of $1.8 billion raised by Snapdeal, the startup has raised $500 million from Chinese investors like Alibaba Group and Foxconn Technology Group.

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Dream11

Founded by Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain in 2008, Dream11 is a fantasy gaming platform that enables its 80 million users to play fantasy games like cricket, football, basketball, and hockey.

Dream11 became a unicorn after it raised an undisclosed amount of funds from Chinese investment firm Steadview Capital in 2019.

Earlier in 2018, Tencent Holdings became its first Chinese investor when it invested $100 million into the company.

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