India is one of the fastest-growing markets for e-commerce. During the pandemic-induced lockdown, the adoption of digital services accelerated. Customers were forced to stay at home to reduce the spread of Covid-19, leading to a shift towards online shopping. This significantly boosted e-commerce companies.
According to GlobalData, a total of six e-commerce companies became unicorns in 2022 with a total valuation of $7.9 billion. In 2022, three Indian e-commerce companies—Ethos, Delhivery, and Fone4—went public. This trend is likely to continue into next year, with a strong pipeline of new unicorns and planned listings.
What is slowing growth in the Indian start-up market?
Geopolitical tensions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine have impacted the economic outlook, and a series of Fed rate interest hikes have resulted in falling stock markets across the world and a slowdown in funding into the Indian start-up ecosystem. Investors are now more cautious about spending their money.
Notable e-commerce unicorns in 2022
This year, there have been several prominent e-commerce unicorns.
- DealShare – DealShare is the most valuable Indian unicorn in 2022. The e-commerce unicorn has total funding of $165 million from investors such as Tiger Global Management and Alpha Wave Global and is valued at $1.7 billion.
- ElasticRun – ElasticRun, which offers an e-commerce distribution platform, is the second-most valuable Indian e-commerce unicorn formed in 2022. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 invested $300 million in the company and valued it at $1.5 billion.
- Xpressbees – Xpressbees, a logistics company, raised $300 million led by Blackstone Growth, TPG Growth, and ChrysCapital with a valuation of $1.2 billion.
- Livspace – Home interior and renovation platform, Livspace, entered the unicorn club with a valuation of $1.2 billion. The company raised $180 million led by KKR.
- Shiprocket – The logistics aggregator has recently entered the unicorn club, backed by Zomato raising $33.5 million. It is valued at $1.2 billion.
- Purplle – The online beauty retailer raised $33 million in a funding round led by South Korean investor Paramark Ventures and is valued at $1.1 billion.
Notable e-commerce IPOs in 2022
There are also several noteworthy e-commerce IPOs this year.
- Delhivery – The online logistics company debuted on NSE India on May 24, 2022. The company raised proceeds of $0.6 billion at an offer price of $6.2 per share. This valued the company at $4.5 billion at the time of IPO.
- Ethos – The luxury watch retailer made its debut at NSE India on May 30, 2022. The stock made its debut at $10.4 per share over a 5.46% decline on the NSE compared to its IPO issue price of $11 apiece. Ethos raised $47.9 million in proceeds and soared to a valuation of nearly $234 million.
- Fone4 Communications – The online electronic e-commerce company debuted on NSE India on May 6, 2022. The company raised proceeds of $8.5 million at an offer price of $0.3 per share.
The future unicorn and IPO pipeline for e-commerce in India looks strong
Despite the weak stock market performance in the first half of 2022, several e-commerce unicorns are still planning to go public later this year or in early 2023. We also expect to see at least ten e-commerce companies become unicorns. The notable candidates include Zepto (quick commerce), Turtlemint (online insurance platform), Dunzo (quick commerce), Medikabazaar (online medicines), Square Yards (property technology platform), Pepperfry (online furniture retailer), and Bluestone (online jewellery retailer). Also, some notable candidates for IPO include Milkbasket (grocery delivery platform), Flipkart (e-commerce), and Droom (online automobile marketplace). The e-commerce unicorns and IPOs in India have now proved that the industry has a bright future with strong growth potential
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