Learning platform Unacademy has topped the 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups India list followed by B2B e-commerce platform Udaan, and fintech firm CRED, as a predominantly remote reality during the pandemic accelerated digital transformation for firms and consumers alike.
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.
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 seven years old or younger, have at least 50 employees, be privately held, and be headquartered in India.
Unacademy took the pole position on the list, with its valuation soaring to $3.44 billion as the platform explored new learning paths for upskilling, hiring, and creator-led courses.
Following suit was India''s largest B2B e-commerce platform Udaan at the second place, and CRED (3rd), an Indian fintech company that aims to simplify payments for credit card holders and various e-commerce transactions.
With these top three unicorns, and nearly 60 per cent of the 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups India List based out of Bengaluru, the city has reinforced its reputation as the "Silicon Valley of India".
Others in the top 10 include upGrad (4th), Razorpay (5th), Meesho (6th), Skyroot Aerospace (7th), boAt (8th), Urban Company (9th) and Agnikul Cosmos (10th).
"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," said Ankit Vengurlekar, India Managing Editor, LinkedIn News.
Vengurlekar further added that "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."
The report further noted that amid the digital boom, India remained bullish on upskilling, which reflects across the list with Unacademy, upGrad, and LIDO (19th) featuring as the top ed-tech 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, RazorPay, and FamPay (24th).
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 (14th) and Ninjacart (22nd).
AI-driven customer service startups Cogno AI (17th) and Verloop.io (20th), and space-tech players Skyroot Aerospace, boAt, and Agnikul Cosmos also debut on this year’s list.