India has been marveling at the 15 startups which have attained a $1 billion valuation in 2021 at home, but Indian-origin startup founders have been making an even bigger mark abroad.
Indian-origin startup founders have co-founded 67 US unicorn startups, while being only 1.2% of the total US population. As per a calculation by former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai’s investment firm 3One4 Capital, 67 American unicorns have at least one Indian-origin founder. There are just 42 lakh Indian-Americans in all. As of today, the US has 288 unicorn startups, which means that Indian-Americans have been responsible for creating a significant chunk of US unicorn startups.
The list of Indian-founded startup unicorns in formidable — current social media sensation Clubhouse has Rohan Seth has a co-founder, while Instacart’s co-founder and CEO is Apoorva Mehta. One of online learning unicorn Chegg’s co-founders is Aayush Phumbhra, while fellow online learning startup Udemy has Gagan Biyani as a co-founder. Other unicorns founded by Indian-origin founders, such as Nutanix and AppDynamics, have gone public or been acquired by bigger companies.
Apart from founding successful companies, a host of Indians also run top multinational tech companies. Two of the world’s four most valuable companies have Indian CEOs — Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google, while Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft. Shantanu Narayen, meanwhile is the CEO of Adobe, and the CEO of IBM is Arvind Krishna.
While India’s tech space is taking big strides in recent years — India now has 32 unicorn startups — the stats from America show how much untapped potential India has to create successful companies. A 4.2 million Indian-American population managed to create 67 startup unicorns in the US — if 1.3 billion Indians are given the right education, the right incentives, and the power of India’s massive consumer market, they might end up creating thousands of unicorns in India in the years to come.