Adding 33 "unicorns" in a single year has helped India displace the United Kingdom to be third in the list of countries that are home to such enterprises valued at over $1 billion each, according to a report released on Wednesday.
India was placed fourth when it comes to the number of unicorns last year. However, the US and northern neighbour China, who occupy the first two ranks, are way ahead, according to the data compiled by Hurun Research Institute.
The US added 254 unicorns and now totals 487 companies in the coveted list, while China added 74 to take its tally to 301 start-ups having a valuation of over $1 billion, it said.
The top-two occupants are home to 74 per cent of the unicorn universe, it said, adding that the overall list saw 673 'new faces' and 201 drop-offs.
Of the drop-offs, 28 per cent or 162 companies were 'promoted' out of the unicorn list, after going public or being acquired, while seven per cent or 39 companies were 'demoted', after their valuations dropped below $1 billion.
The institute took into account companies incorporated in this century to determine a unicorn and the list is updated till November 2021.
The UK added only 15 unicorns to take its total to 39, and hence got displaced by India, it said.
"India is in the midst of a start-up boom, more than doubling its unicorns to take the country's official tally of unicorns to 54, and overtake the UK to third place in the world," Hurun Report India's Managing Director and Chief Researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said.
He said that in addition to the domestic companies, there are 65 unicorns founded by Indians abroad, mainly in Silicon Valley.
The Indian unicorns list is led by edtech start-up Byju's with a valuation of $21 billion and followed by Inmobi ($12 billion), Oyo ($9.5 billion) and Razorpay ($7.5 billion), it said.
Bengaluru is home to the highest number of unicorns among Indian cities, it said, adding that the financial capital, nearby cities of Pune and Thane, and Gurugram also have candidates.