Five startups with Kerala founders to become unicorns by 2028

The Gazelles and Cheetahs Index is compiled using data from leading venture capitalists in India, making it arguably the most comprehensive list of  India’s future Unicorns.

Published: 30th June 2023 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2023 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Startup Mission

Image used for representation

Express News Service

KOCHI: Kerala startups, founded in the last two decades, may not yet have broken into the universe of unicorns or $1 billion valuations. But, going by a new report, at least five companies founded by Malayalis will make it onto the distinguished list by 2028.

These are the findings of a report, ‘ASK Private Wealth Hurun India Future Unicorn Index 2023’ early this week, which analysed startups in the country founded after 2000. Other than unicorns, it classified other startups as Gazelles (which is most likely to become a unicorn in the next three years) and Cheetahs (which will become a unicorn in the next five years).

One of these promising startups is MedGenome, a life science company founded by Sam Santhosh, of Kochi. It is projected to become a unicorn within the next three years.

MedGenome, which originated from Sam Santhosh’s incubator, SciGenom Lab, at the Cochin Special Economic Zone, falls into the Gazelles category. This life science startup has secured funding totalling $136 million thus far and is currently headquartered in Bengaluru. Sam is now deeply involved with the Kerala Genome Data Centre (KGDC), a state government initiative aimed at building a high-capacity data centre to leverage the power of genomic data and Kerala’s abundant biodiversity.

The remaining four Malayalee-led companies are classified as Cheetahs. These e-commerce startups include FreshToHome, founded by Shan Kadavil and  Mathew Joseph; iD Fresh Food, established by P C Musthafa and his four cousins, natives of Wayanad;, founded by Babu Sivadasan; and dental care startup CareStack. The latter two were initially founded in Thiruvananthapuram but are now headquartered in the United States.

“Gazelles and Cheetahs provide an insight into the economy of tomorrow. What they are doing and where they are doing it gives an indication into which sectors are attracting the world’s top young talent and smartest capital, and which countries and cities have the best startup ecosystem,” said Anas Rahman, founder and chief researcher of Hurun India. 

The Gazelles and Cheetahs Index is compiled using data from leading venture capitalists in India, making it arguably the most comprehensive list of  India’s future Unicorns. Fresh-to-Home has secured $152 million in funding, while iD Fresh Food has received $99 million., based in Sunnyvale, US, and CareStack have received $71 million and $74 million, respectively.


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