In India, the SaaS market has been quite active, with a thousand companies launching in recent years. With industry leaders like Freshworks and Zoho leading the way, Indian SaaS companies generate around $2-3 billion in total annual revenues, representing around 1% of the global SaaS market. The Indian SaaS ecosystem is expected to grow fast and increase its share of global SaaS to around 4-5%, translating into a $50-70 billion revenue opportunity by the calendar year 2030.
Incidentally, India has the 3rd largest SaaS ecosystem globally, after the US and China. Indian companies are distinguishing themselves within the SaaS space, with many firms joining the unicorn club. It is imperative to have an advanced technology platform so you can provide the best facilities to clients/customers. SaaS startups are indispensable in automating the existing startup’s operations in a competitive business environment. They assist in developing the digital infrastructure of new/existing firms.
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Top Indian Unicorn SaaS Startups
Here is a list of top Indian Unicorn SaaS startups that provide hassle-free software solutions to new and existing firms.
Postman refers to an API platform that developers use to design, build, test, and iterate their APIs. As of April 2022, Postman had a reported 20 million registered users and 75,000 open APIs, which according to the company, is the world’s largest public API hub. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company also maintains an office in Bengaluru, where it was founded. Postman had a nondescript beginning as the side project of software engineer Abhinav Asthana, who aimed to simplify API testing. He launched Postman as a free app on the Google Chrome Web Store. As the application usage grew, Abhinav recruited former colleagues to help create Postman Inc. The three co-founders lead the company today. It is because of their efforts that Postman has dethroned BrowserStack to become India’s most valuable SaaS. Postman raised $225 million in a Series D round, led by existing investor Insight Partners. Fresh investors like Coatue, Battery Ventures, Bond, DoorDash product leader Gokul Rajaram and Freshworks founder Girish Mathrubootham too participated in the round, as did existing investors CRV and Nexus Venture Partners. Postman raised $430 million in four financing events to reach a $5.6 billion valuation. This firm got Unicorn status in 2020.
An Indian cloud web and mobile testing platform, BrowserStack allows developers to test their websites and mobile applications across on-demand browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices. It provides developer teams instant access to a cloud platform, allowing them to comprehensively test their websites and mobile applications for functionality, performance, and visual appeal to release bug-free software faster and at scale. Last year, BrowserStack raised $200 million in new funding round to become the fifteenth Indian unicorn of 2021. Its valuation jumped to $4 billion after its Series B financing round. After Chargebee, BrowserStack is the second Indian unicorn in the SaaS category in 2021. Chargebee joined this unicorn club in April 2021. Back in 2018, BrowserStack had a valuation of around $600 million, and its valuation has surged around eight times over the past three years.
Founded as Freshdesk in October 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, it was rebranded Freshworks in 2017. With its headquarters in San Bruno, California, Freshworks has offices across India, Australia, the UK, and Germany. Freshworks offers a wide range of customer support and sales software, including Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshchat, and more. Freshworks has managed to raise funds from Accel, Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital India, and Capital G. This was utilized to enable research and development of product evolution, new product augmentation, and marketing campaigns. Freshworks raised a Series A funding amount of $1 million from Accel Partners in November 2011. Tiger Global and Accel Partners invested $5 million in a Series B round in April 2012. Accel Partners again invested $7 million in a Series C round in November 2013. Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners, and Google Capital gave Freshworks $31 million in a Series D funding round. In November 2016, Freshworks got $55 million in Series F funding from Sequoia Capital India and Accel Partners. July 2018 saw Freshworks secure $100 million in a Series G funding round from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners, as well as CapitalG. Freshworks is famous for its great customer relationship management (CRM) solution for its customers. This Chennai-based startup has hit a valuation of $3.5 billion in total. It got Unicorn status in 2018. Its main competitor is SalesForce. For FY2020, Freshworks recorded $300 million in annual recurring revenue. It even started an IPO.
Zenoti is a SaaS company providing an all-in-one cloud-based software solution for the beauty and wellness industry. Engineered for reliability and scale, the Zenoti platform harnesses the power of enterprise-level technology for firms of all sizes. This software helps businesses manage everything from booking appointments to day-to-day business operations like end-of-day accounting. Zenoti offers customers a comprehensive mobile solution: online appointment bookings, CRM, POS, employee and inventory management, built-in marketing programs, and more. Thanks to its powerful data integration capabilities, it helps customers streamline systems and reduce costs while improving customer retention and spending. The company got Unicorn status in 2020 when it reached a valuation of more than $ 1 billion. Industry reports indicated a value of around $1.5 billion in 2021.
Chargebee refers to a PCI Level 1 certified recurring billing platform for subscription-based SaaS and eCommerce businesses. Integrating with leading payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree, Chargebee allows you to automate recurring payment collection with invoicing, taxes, accounting, email notifications, customer management, and SaaS metrics. Chargebee takes care of all your crucial workflows from lead to ledger with integrations like Salesforce, Avalara, Slack, Quickbooks, Xero, and others. Chargebee happens to be the first SaaS firm that got unicorn status in 2021. With a valuation of $1.4 billion after raising $125 million from Tiger Global, Insight Ventures, and Sapphire in a Series G funding round. Chargebee’s valuation recorded three times the growth in the latest funding event compared to its 2020 valuation after closing the Series F funding round. Chargebee has raised around $230 million in all its funding rounds.
A Silicon Valley-based digital healthcare company, Innovaccer was founded by Abhinav Shashank, Kanav Hasija, and Sandeep Gupta and provides physician practices, health systems, hospitals, and other healthcare providers with a variety of digital products. Founded in 2012, the company is headquartered in San Francisco, California. In February 2021, the company had a valuation of $1.3 billion. Innovaccer helps its clients in Data Analytics for different diseases and illness patterns of the patients. It is one of the pioneers in the healthcare ecosystem and achieved unicorn status in 2021. It has raised a total of $225 million in funding. Investors like Tiger Global, B Capital Group, Steadview Capital, and M12 (Microsoft Venture Fund) helped the firm reach its massive valuation.
A company that provides sales solutions for customer-based businesses, Mindtickle was founded by Deepak Diwakar, Mohit Garg, Krishna Depura, and Nishant Mungali in 2011 in San Francisco, California. Mindtickle became the 20th unicorn of 2021 when it raised $100 million in a round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. Existing investors include Norwest Venture Partners, NewView Capital, Canaan, and Qualcomm Ventures. Mindtickle has raised $281 million in different funding rounds to date.
The above firms constitute unicorn SaaS firms in India. Each has varying amounts of funding, and each is charting its growth in the SaaS landscape in India and the world.