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Start-ups beat COVID-19 pandemic odds to turn into unicorns

Posted on 10 November, 2020

“Pandemic enforced digital acceleration and adoption in India. As more companies allowed employees to continue to work from home, tools enabling easier data access, easier team coordination real-time project management became crucial, and hence enterprise software companies become attractive as demand grew,” said Pankaj Raina, Managing Director, Research and Investments, Zephyr Peacock India.

He added that COVID-19 also increased the number of users going online to fulfill needs such as buying insurance, healthcare services (doctor consultations), which in turn increased the number of paying users for the companies and helped them grow, thereby attracting investor attention.


Click here to read the full article on “The Hindu Business Line”


Below is an excerpt from the post that first appeared on The Hindu Business Line on 10 November 2020:


COVID-19 has turned the start-up ecosystem upside down. However, few segments have been making hay across the world over the past few months. In fact, over 60 per cent of the unicorns (a unicorn is a start-up that has a valuation of $1 billion or more) that came about this year belong in edtech, enterprise applications, enterprise infrastructure, health-tech and fintech.

Data from Tracxn, a firm that tracks investments and financials of private companies and start-ups. showed that 68 start-ups in the world achieved unicorn status this year. Of these, enterprise infrastructure and fintech start-ups topped the list with 11 unicorns each. This was followed by enterprise applications at eight, and edtech and health-tech at six each. Start-ups founded since 2010 have been considered for this analysis.

Seven of the 68 unicorns are Indian start-ups. FirstCry was the first to enter the league this year in February. But even after the pandemic closed in on the country in March, six other start-ups joined the list. Nykaa became a unicorn in March, followed by Postman and Zerodha in June, Nxtra Data in July, and Unacademy in September. The latest start-up to join the league was Razorpay in October.


Click here to read the full article on “The Hindu Business Line”

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Zephyr Management is a global emerging markets investment manager, specializing in the creation and management of highly focused private equity funds

Since its inception in 1994, Zephyr has sponsored and/or managed 26 investment funds in both public and private securities markets representing approximately $1.2 billion in combined commitments and assets under management

Emerging Markets Focus

The firm has initiated several private equity funds investing in several African countries, South Korea, Mexico, India, and Sri Lanka since its founding. Zephyr's funds serve medium size enterprises that are often ignored by larger private equity players. Zephyr funds provide growth capital to established companies with proven business models and sustainable competitive advantages.

Investment activities are currently focused on India, Sri Lanka and Africa.

Zephyr Peacock India

Zephyr Peacock India provides equity financing for fast growing, small to medium sized companies led by strong entrepreneurs and management teams.

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Emerald Sri Lanka Fund

Emerald Fund provides equity financing for fast growing, small to medium sized (SME) Sri Lankan companies led by strong entrepreneurs & management teams.

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Zephyr Acorn provides equity

Zephyr Acorn provides equity financing and business support to innovative early-stage companies in East Africa.

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Active Portfolio Support

The firm's special expertise lies in bringing global best practices to medium-sized growing companies by assisting them in conceptualizing sustainable business strategy, management development, compensation, ESG, expansion outside of their home country, capital structure and positioning for stock exchange listing or trade sale.