India has Become a hub for startups in recent years, with many new companies emerging in various sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, health tech, and edtech. In 2023, India is expected to have more than 100 unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), which is a testament to the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem.
In this blog post, we will be discussing the top profitable startups in India in 2023. These startups have been chosen based on their revenue growth, profitability, and market share. We will also be discussing other promising startups in India that are expected to grow in the coming years.
The Indian startup ecosystem has been growing rapidly in recent years, with many new companies emerging in various sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, health tech, and edtech. In 2023, India is expected to have more than 100 unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), which is a testament to the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem.
The top profitable startups in India in 2023 are expected to play a crucial role in driving innovation and economic growth in the country. These startups have been chosen based on their revenue growth, profitability, and market share, which are key indicators of their success. By discussing these startups and other promising startups in India, we hope to shed light on the potential of the Indian startup ecosystem and inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
Overview of the Indian Startup Ecosystem
Brief History of Indian Startups
The Indian startup ecosystem has come a long way since its inception in the early 2000s. The first wave of Indian startups was driven by the IT services sector, with companies such as Infosys, Wipro, and TCS leading the way. However, it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that the Indian startup ecosystem began to take shape.
The second wave of Indian startups was driven by e-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Paytm. These companies disrupted the traditional retail industry and paved the way for other startups to enter the market.
Today, the Indian startup ecosystem is thriving, with many new companies emerging in various sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, health tech, and edtech. In 2023, India is expected to have more than 100 unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), which is a testament to the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem.
Current State of Indian Startups
The Indian startup ecosystem is currently thriving, with many new companies emerging in various sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, health tech, and edtech. In 2023, India is expected to have more than 100 unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), which is a testament to the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Indian startup ecosystem, with many startups struggling to survive due to the economic downturn. However, the Indian government has taken steps to support startups during this difficult time, such as launching the Startup India initiative and providing funding through various schemes.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Indian startup ecosystem has continued to grow and evolve. With a large pool of talented entrepreneurs and investors, India is poised to become a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Future Outlook for Indian Startups
The future outlook for Indian startups is bright, with many new companies emerging in various sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, health tech, and edtech. In 2023, India is expected to have more than 100 unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), which is a testament to the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem.
The Indian government has taken steps to support startups in the country, such as launching the Startup India initiative and providing funding through various schemes. These initiatives have helped to create a favorable environment for startups to grow and thrive.
In the coming years, we can expect to see more Indian startups expanding globally and competing with established players in the international market. With a large pool of talented entrepreneurs and investors, India is poised to become a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Overall, the future looks bright for Indian startups, and we can expect to see many exciting developments in the years to come.
Top Profitable Startups in India in 2023
BillDesk is a veteran payment gateway that has been facilitating nearly 60% of online bill payments in India. The company’s profitability has remained intact for over a decade, albeit the exact figures have not been disclosed. In the present year 2021, BillDesk recorded a notable upswing in its operating revenue, which grew to an approximate value of 21 billion Indian rupees.
Prosus NV, in August 2021, undertook the acquisition of BillDesk for an astounding amount of $4.7 billion. This acquisition has culminated in a windfall for the founding trio, as they now enjoy half a billion dollars each, thanks to their combined 31% stake
Dream11 is an Indian-based platform offering a unique fantasy sports experience, which permits users to indulge in a variety of sports such as cricket, hockey, football, kabaddi, handball, basketball, volleyball, rugby, futsal, American football, and baseball. The year 2019 witnessed Dream11’s successful journey in becoming the first-ever Indian fantasy sports company to reach the coveted “unicorn” status. With the growth trajectory set, the platform continued to soar higher, garnering an impressive $8 billion valuation in November 2021.
The parent company of Dream11, Dream Sports, did not take a backseat in contributing to this success story. March 2021 marked the company’s second fundraising round, which witnessed investments worth $400 million led by reputable firms such as TCV, D1 Capital Partners, and Falcon Edge Capital. This round, in turn, valued Dream Sports at a remarkable $5 billion. In August 2021, Dream Sports raised $840 million at an $8 billion valuation, thereby cementing its position as a major player in the Indian fantasy sports industry.
Zerodha is a major player in India’s retail brokerage industry with an impressive client base of over 6 million active clients. The company has managed to maintain its position as the largest retail brokerage firm in India due to its innovative business strategies and reliable services.
In 2020, Zerodha’s user base surpassed 900,000 users, highlighting the company’s rapid growth in the industry. With an average of 2-3 million trades conducted on its platform every day, Zerodha has proven to be a popular choice for traders in India.
In November 2021, Zerodha’s valuation reached an impressive $7 billion, indicating the company’s tremendous success in the industry. In the fiscal year 2022, Zerodha’s revenue reached Rs 1,200 crore ($160 million), and the company anticipates a 20% jump in revenue for the fiscal year 2023.
The company’s success can be attributed to its user-friendly platform, low brokerage fees, and excellent customer service. Zerodha has managed to attract a wide range of investors, including first-time investors and experienced traders, by offering a seamless trading experience with innovative tools and educational resources.
Zoho is a highly successful Indian technology company that provides computer software and web-based business tools to millions of users worldwide. With a client list that includes well-known companies such as Amazon, Levi’s, Philips, and Xiaomi, Zoho has established itself as a major player in the industry.
One of the keys to Zoho’s success is its commitment to providing top-quality products and services to its customers. With a workforce of over 9,000 employees spread across the globe, the company has the resources and expertise to deliver innovative solutions that meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
In addition to its core business offerings, Zoho has also made strategic investments in a number of other companies. These investments have helped to expand the company’s reach and capabilities, while also providing valuable opportunities for collaboration and growth.
Zoho’s success is further evidenced by its impressive financial performance. In 2022 alone, the company generated over $255 million in profit, a testament to its strong leadership, sound business practices, and commitment to customer satisfaction.
Today, Zoho’s products are used by over 50,000 organizations in more than 160 countries. And with a growing base of over 80 million active customers, the company shows no signs of slowing down. As it continues to innovate and expand its offerings, Zoho is poised to remain a leading force in the technology industry for years to come.
EaseMyTrip is a prominent travel aggregator based in India that provides a comprehensive range of travel services, including flight tickets, hotel bookings, holiday packages, bus tickets, and more. This company has witnessed remarkable growth over the years, with a CAGR of 47% from FY18 to FY21.
In March 2021, EaseMyTrip went public and received a subscription rate of 159.33 times by the time it went public. This shows the high demand and trust in the company from investors.
Recently, the company has shared its financial performance, which indicates its impressive growth. According to data from 2022, EaseMyTrip generated a profit of Rs 4204 crores in the previous financial year. Furthermore, in Q1 FY23, the company revealed a YoY profit hike of 125% and a QoQ profit hike of 45.36%. This shows that the company is continuing to grow at a rapid pace.
In addition, EaseMyTrip’s hotel night bookings increased by 136% in FY22, which is a significant achievement. This indicates that the company is expanding its customer base and providing excellent services to its clients.
Gupshup, a conversational messaging platform, has been making waves in emerging markets, enabling businesses to build conversational experiences across marketing, sales, and support. With over 6 billion messages per month, Gupshup has gained immense popularity among both large and small businesses. In March 2021, the platform raised $100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management, catapulting its valuation to $1.4 billion.
India, in particular, has seen a significant rise in the use of messaging apps, with over 91% of its users relying on them today. This trend has contributed to the growth of the premium messaging market, which was valued at around $54,579 million in 2016. Experts predict that this market will continue to rise at a CAGR of 5.4% and reach $78,349 million by 2023.
Gupshup’s success can be attributed to its ability to tap into this growing trend and offer businesses a powerful tool to engage with their customers through conversational messaging. With the increase in demand for messaging apps and conversational experiences, Gupshup is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory and expand its reach to even more businesses in emerging markets.
Infra.market The market is a B2B construction materials startup that has been called the “Amazon of Construction” by investors. Infra. The market has been able to spot a massive opportunity in a market that is conservatively estimated to be worth $200 billion. The company works with more than 170 small manufacturers and counts the vast majority of major construction and real estate companies as its clients.
Infra. The market has raised $406.6 million in funding from investors including Mars Growth Capital and Pankaj Chaddah. In February 2021, Infra. The market raised $100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management, which propelled its valuation to $1 billion.
According to a senior official, Infra. The market posted a 3.5-fold jump in its revenues for the year ended March 2021 at Rs 1,242.9 crore on the back of heightened demand from tier I and II cities across India.
Shiprocket‘s impressive financial performance in recent years is a testament to the success of its business model, which combines cutting-edge technology with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With a profitable fiscal year in 2018-2019 and an annualized revenue run rate of $50-60 million, the company has demonstrated its ability to generate sustainable growth and profitability.
In FY21, Shiprocket’s scale soared by 2.2X to reach Rs 358 crore, and the company posted a profit of Rs 12 crore. This impressive growth was driven by the company’s AI-powered post-order service, which enables SMEs to seamlessly manage their end-to-end operations, including smart packaging, eCommerce fulfillment, warehousing solutions, hyperlocal deliveries, and shipping aggregation. Shiprocket also offers free website development services to help SMEs establish their online presence and reach a wider audience.
By providing a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the needs of SMEs, Shiprocket has established itself as a leader in the logistics and eCommerce space. The company’s commitment to innovation and customer service has helped it build a loyal customer base and win numerous accolades, including the “Logistics Company of the Year” award at the prestigious Economic Times Logistics Awards.
Looking ahead, Shiprocket is well-positioned to continue its impressive growth trajectory as it expands its offerings and deepens its partnerships with SMEs across India and beyond. With its focus on leveraging technology to simplify complex logistics operations and empower SMEs, Shiprocket is poised to make a significant impact on the eCommerce landscape in the years to come.
Mamaearth, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) personal care brand, has achieved a remarkable milestone by turning profitable in FY21 with a revenue of nearly ₹500 crores. What’s even more impressive is that in FY22, Mamaearth has continued to grow and maintain profitability, which is rare among other consumer internet companies of its age.
Mamaearth’s success can be attributed to its focus on digital marketing channels, especially social media and influencer marketing, to push its product lines. By leveraging these channels, Mamaearth has been able to reach a wide audience and build a strong brand presence.
Another factor that has contributed to Mamaearth’s profitability is its improved EBITDA margin, which increased to 3.89% in FY22 from -280% in FY21. This improvement indicates that the company has been able to optimize its operations and reduce costs while maintaining its revenue growth.
Mamaearth’s success story is a testament to the power of D2C business models and the importance of leveraging digital marketing channels to build a brand and reach customers. As more and more consumers turn to online shopping and digital channels for their purchasing decisions, companies like Mamaearth are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend and continue to grow in the years ahead.
Nykaa, the popular beauty and fashion e-commerce platform in India, has witnessed a significant surge in its profitability in recent years. This is evident from the fact that in the second quarter of the financial year 2022, the company’s net profit increased by a whopping 344% year-on-year to reach Rs. 5.2 crore. This impressive growth can be attributed to the improved sales and profitability of the company.
Nykaa’s revenue from operations also witnessed a substantial growth of 39% year-on-year, reaching Rs. 1,230.8 crores. The increased demand for beauty and fashion products, coupled with a low base, contributed to this growth. Furthermore, Nykaa’s profitability also witnessed a growth of 171 basis points, reaching 5% during the quarter. This was driven by the improved gross margins, which were a result of the company’s own brand mix, reduced fulfillment costs, and marketing efficiency.
This surge in profitability is a testament to Nykaa’s strong business model and its ability to adapt to changing market dynamics. The company’s focus on expanding its own brand portfolio, which offers higher margins, and reducing fulfillment costs has proved to be a winning strategy. Additionally, its efforts towards improving marketing efficiency have also contributed to this growth.
Overall, Nykaa’s impressive financial performance in recent years has positioned it as a leading player in the Indian e-commerce industry. The company’s focus on providing quality products and services, coupled with its strong financials, has helped it gain the trust and loyalty of its customers, which will likely continue to fuel its growth in the future.
Other Promising Startups in India in 2023
CRED, a Bangalore-based credit card bill payment and management platform, has shown remarkable growth in revenue in the fiscal year 2021. Despite achieving revenue growth of 170 times, the company is yet to make any profits. This is attributed to the high cost of operations, as in the fiscal year 2020, CRED spent Rs 729.3 to earn a single rupee of revenue.
However, there is a silver lining as the company’s EBITDA margins have improved significantly from -1966.2% in FY20 to -538.3% in FY21. This improvement in margins indicates that the company’s operational efficiency is improving, albeit slowly. It also suggests that the company is investing in growth, which is likely to bear fruit in the future.
In addition to its core business of credit card bill payments, CRED also earned Rs 17.5 crore from interest on bank deposits, bringing its overall revenue to Rs 18 crore. This indicates that the company is exploring other revenue streams, which is a positive sign.
CRED’s revenue growth has been fueled by its ability to attract high-spending credit card users and provide them with exclusive rewards and benefits. The company has also been expanding its product offerings by introducing new features such as rent payments and e-commerce transactions.
PharmEasy, the online pharmacy platform run by Thea Technologies Pvt. Ltd has reported impressive revenue growth in recent years. In FY20, its trading entity earned Rs 637 crore, a significant increase from the Rs 340 crore earned in the previous fiscal year. However, the company’s losses before tax for the same period also doubled to Rs 100.7 crore from Rs 50 crore a year earlier.
Despite these losses, PharmEasy has continued to expand and has recently acquired several companies, including Docon Technologies and Medlife International, which has led to a significant increase in its revenue in FY22. The company’s revenue has grown massively from ₹ 2,360.6 Cr in FY21 to ₹ 5,728.8 Cr in FY22.
PharmEasy has also been successful in raising funding, with a total of $1.6 Raised over 14 rounds. The company’s growth in revenue and acquisitions of other companies suggest that it is committed to expanding its reach and services, and may continue to be a major player in the online pharmacy space. However, the company’s increased losses highlight the challenges that it faces in scaling its business while also maintaining profitability.
Challenges Faced by Indian Startups in 2023
Financing: One of the biggest challenges faced by startups in India is financing. However, there are several government schemes available to help startups with financing such as Startup India Seed Fund Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Venture Capital Assistance Scheme, etc.
Lack of Planning: Many startups fail due to a lack of planning. It’s important for startups to have a clear business plan and strategy in place before launching their product or service.
Hiring the Right Talent: Hiring the right talent can be challenging for startups due to competition from established players and a lack of skilled talent in India.
Effective Marketing within a Limited Budget: Startups often have limited budgets for marketing and advertising. Therefore, it’s important for them to focus on cost-effective marketing strategies such as social media marketing, content marketing, etc.4
Self-Doubt and Uncertainty: Starting a new business can be stressful and uncertain. It’s important for entrepreneurs to stay motivated and focused on their goals.
Dealing with Criticism: Startups often face criticism from customers, investors, and competitors. It’s important for entrepreneurs to take constructive criticism positively and use it to improve their products or service.
Attracting Customers: Attracting customers can be challenging for startups due to competition from established players. Therefore, it’s important for startups to focus on providing quality products or services and building a strong brand image.
Making Decisions: Making decisions can be challenging for startups due to a lack of experience and expertise. It’s important for entrepreneurs to seek advice from mentors and experts before making important decisions.
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Sunjjoy Chaudhri Has Been an Entrepreneur Since the Age Of 23, Sunjjoy Chaudhri is a Founder of Mega Setup Mastery, Fxpopsan Exchangers and Malgangas Consultancy. Sunjjoy Chaudhri is a Highly Accomplished and renowned business consultant based in Pune. With an Impressive track Record and a Wealth of Experience, Sunjjoy has Established himself as one of the best Business Consultants in the Region