Female Entrepreneurs Paving The Way For Future Unicorns In India

Ecom Express, Chalo and Finova Capital are some of the women-led companies highlighted by the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>(Source: Pexels/Photo by Karolina Kaboompics)&nbsp;</p></div>
(Source: Pexels/Photo by Karolina Kaboompics) 

Twenty female entrepreneurs from 19 different companies have co-founded five gazelles—startups that are most likely to become unicorns in the next three years—and 14 cheetahs—startups that will become unicorns in the next five years, according to the ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2024. The numbers show that women are making a significant impact on the startup ecosystem.

Rashi Narang and Ridhima Coelho are co-founders of Heads Up For Tails, a company that sells pet supplies and accessories. It happens to be the only company in the index with two female co-founders. Founded in 2008, the cheetah from the e-commerce sector raised $50 million in funding, according to the report.

At the age of 58, Manju Dhawan stands out as the most senior woman on the Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2024. As a co-founder of Ecom Express, alongside K Satyanarayana, she has led the company to securing the third highest overall funding on the index, amassing $526 million in its venture round. It holds the distinction of being the highest-funded company founded by a woman. Key investors include Eaglebay Investments and the CDC Group.

Ecom Express underscores the lasting spirit and entrepreneurial drive of women in India's startup ecosystem, the report said.

The youngest female co-founder on the index is Vrushali Prasade, 29, a graduate from BITS Pilani. She co-founded Pixis, a gazelle tech company that develops accessible AI technology that helps brands scale various aspects of their marketing. The artificial intelligence company was founded in 2018 and has raised $209 million in funds so far.

Other notable female-lead companies on the index are Sugar Cosmetics, Zolo, Toothsi, and Rare Rabbit.

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