Sequoia top backer of Indian unicorns with 8 bets, China’s Tencent 11th with 3 investments: Report


    Mumbai, Aug 26 (PTI) Venture capital fund Sequoia Capital India is the top backer of unicorns, or firms which have attained a valuation of over USD 1 billion, a report said on Wednesday.

    The India-based Sequoia has invested in eight Indian unicorns including Byju’s and Unacademcy, followed by Japanese investor Softbank and British Steadview Capital’s seven investments each, as per the Hurun India Unicorn Investors List.

    Even as concerns get raised about the Chinese play in Indian startups, the report said that only one investor from the country’s northern neighbour Tencent Holdings features among the top unicorn backers.

    With three unicorn investments, Tencent was ranked joint eleventh along with six other investors that include Bennett Coleman and Company, Bessemer India Capital Holdings, Chiratae Ventures, General Atlantic Singapore, IFC and LTR Focus Fund.

    Interestingly, fantasy gaming company Dream11 which recently won the title sponsor rights for the IPL cricket league after a Chinese handset maker had to be dropped out is one of the three companies backed by Tencent, as per the report.

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which has invested in Paytm, Paytm Mall, Zomato and Bigbasket, seems to have done it through its Singapore offices and hence, the investment has not been attributed to a Chinese investor by Hurun.

    In the list of top investors, where each has backed at least three unicorns or more, American venture capital funds lead the way with seven investors in the list, followed by India-origin funds which have five investments, it said.

    Industry leader Ratan Tata’s RNT Associates is seventh in the list of unicorn investors with four successful bets that include Ola Cabs, Zomato, Lenskart and Unacademy, the report said.

    Hurun’s managing director for India and chief researcher Anas Rahman said, “these investors play a significant role in accelerating the creation of new wealth in India.”

    The report on the unicorn investors follows a study on unicorns done earlier this month and is the first time that the firm has attempted such a list, an official statement said.

    Hurun said it depended on regulatory filings and feedback from the venture capital funds while collating the list, which was updated on August 20.


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