Unicorns Unacademy, Udaan, and CRED top the 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups India list
LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, today launched the fourth edition of the 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups List for India, as determined by the actions of more than 76 million professionals in India on the platform. The annual LinkedIn Top Startups list reveals 25 young, emerging companies where India wants to work now. These 25 companies have continued to grow and attract talent and investment in these times of change.
To put together this year’s rankings, LinkedIn looked at platform data from July 2020 to June 2021 across four pillars: employee growth; jobseeker interest; member engagement with the company and its employees; and how well these startups pulled talent from LinkedIn’s flagship Top Companies list. In order to be eligible, companies must be 7 years old or younger, have at least 50 employees, be privately held, and be headquartered in India.
A predominantly remote reality during the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation for companies and consumers alike. Amid this digital boom, India remains bullish on upskilling, which reflects across the list with Unacademy (#1), upGrad (#4), and LIDO (#19) featuring as the top EdTech and mentorship players. The list also captures the rise of Fintech players as the top three contactless payment solutions featured on the list include CRED (#3), RazorPay (#5), and FamPay (#24) are helping India shop safely amid the ongoing health crisis. While edtech, fintech, and cloud-based platforms lead the show, increased digitisation and investor interest have promoted the expansion of agri-tech startups such as nurture.farm (#14) and Ninjacart (#22). AI-driven customer service startups Cogno AI (#17) and Verloop.io (#20), and space-tech players Skyroot Aerospace (#7), boAt (#8), and Agnikul Cosmos (#10) also debut on this year’s list.
The country’s largest learning platform Unacademy (#1) takes the pole position on the list, with its valuation soaring to $3.44 billion as the platform explores new learning paths for upskilling, hiring, and creator-led courses. Following suit is India’s largest B2B e-commerce platform Udaan (#2), which continues to solve core trade problems for SMBs, retailers, and manufacturers with its unique “India-fit low-cost” business model. Taking the last podium spot is CRED (#3), an Indian fintech company that aims to simplify payments for credit card holders and various e-commerce transactions.
With these top 3 unicorns, and nearly 60% of the 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups India List based out of Bengaluru, the city has reinforced its reputation as the “Silicon Valley of India”.
“The 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups list displays the dominance of consumer Internet startups, and showcases how digital transformation is a critical growth lever for companies today. The companies on the list are also at the forefront of what’s next for employees — promoting greater flexibility, deeper engagement, and improved wellness offerings. The pandemic has shifted how we think about our careers and lives, and these companies are leading the way with employment opportunities and innovative plans for how we approach the future of work,” says Ankit Vengurlekar, India Managing Editor, LinkedIn News.
Here’s a list of the 25 companies that made it to the LinkedIn Top Startups 2021 India list, in order of ranking:
LinkedIn Top Startups 2021 Methodology
The Top Startups List methodology is based on the actions of LinkedIn members on the platform. We review data across four key pillars:
Data is normalized across all eligible startups. We examined member actions from July 1 2020 through June 30 2021. To be eligible, companies must be privately held, fully independent and headquartered in the country on whose list they appear. Eligibility requirements for headcount, age and growth differ by country. We exclude all staffing firms, think tanks, nonprofits, accelerators, venture capital firms, law firms, IT and management consulting firms, philanthropy and government-owned entities.
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