Perfios Becomes India’s Second Unicorn Of 2024 After $80 Million Fundraise

Even as the broader startup ecosystem is still grappling with the funding winter, some startups are managing to buck the trend.

B2B fintech startup Perfios has become India’s second unicorn of 2024 after Ola’s Krutrim had achieved the milestone in January. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is investing $80 million into Perfios, valuing it at more than $1 billion. Prior to this, Perfios had raised $229 million in September last year.

With Perfios attaining a $1 billion valuation, India has already equalled the number of unicorns it had created in 2023. In all of 2023, just two startups had managed to attain a $1 billion valuation in India, but by March 2024, India has already seen the creation of two unicorns. These numbers, of course, are far below the heady days of the post covid boom — India had created 7 unicorns in 2019, 11 unicorns in 2020, 44 unicorns in 2021 and 23 startup unicorns in 2022.

Perfios, for its part, is of a far older vintage. The company had been founded in 2008 by Debashish Chakraborty, Kunnath Santosh, and V.R Govindarajan. The founders had degrees from the IITs and US-based universities, and had worked for nearly a decade at tech companies. In 2008, they founded Perfios, which initially provided a cloud-hosted personal finance platform for Indian citizens. Over the years, Perfios metamorphized into a technology company that aimed to serve the banking, financial services, and insurance industries. Perfios uses data to provide insights to make decisions for these financial firms, including disbursal of loans and credit underwriting. Over the years, Perfios has built a presence in 18 countries. It helps categorize 3 billion transactions every month, and supports more than 1200 institutions.

Perfios has now raised over $300 million in the last 6 months, and has turned unicorn. This appears as a rare bright spot on an otherwise dark horizon for the Indian startup space. Two months ago, the interest around the AI space had enabled Krutrim to become India’s fastest ever unicorn, touching a $1 billion valuation within 41 days of being founded. Now Perfios has become a unicorn after a 15-year grind. But both these companies might be outliers — even though India has now created 2 unicorns in the first 3 months of 2024, there is likely still weakness in the broader startup ecosystem that the creation of the new unicorns might be belying.