Top 10 loss-making Indian startups in the year 2021

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The number of new businesses or popularly known as startups has increased a lot in the past couple of years. This boom in the startup culture can not only be witnessed in India but also globally. People are increasingly choosing to become entrepreneurs instead of sticking to a job that makes them miserable every day.

At the beginning of May 2022, neobank Open became the 100th startup to enter the Unicorn Club of India. But according to Fintrackr, a data tracking platform by Entrackr, only 18 out of these 100 startups have attained profitability and 57 are in deep losses. A few of them have not revealed their financial figures.

It is not so surprising that any startup will not be profitable as soon as they start doing business. According to the report by Entrackr and Business Insider, here are the top 9 startups that are extremely popular but have reported a loss in the financial year 2021:

Ola

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Ola is a mobility company spread across the world. It serves around 250+ cities in India and provides online transportation booking services. It was founded in 2010, by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. In 2021, Ola lost around Rs. 1,140 crores.

Swiggy

Swiggy is a food delivery and online food ordering platform in India. It was founded in 2014 and is operational in around 500 cities in the country. It was founded by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy, and Rahul Jaimini. The company reported a loss of around Rs. 1,617 crore in 2021 which is a 65% decrease compared to the previous year. This means that the company lost around Rs. 25,347 per minute.

ShareChat

ShareChat is an Indian social media platform. It was founded in 2015, by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh and Farid Ahsan. It is based in Bangalore and has been evaluated at $3.7 billion. Sharechat reported a loss of around Rs. 1,461 crore in 2021.
Sharechat is also recently looking to close a deal of $300 million from Google, Media Moghuls Times Group, and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

Unacademy

Founded in 2015, Unacademy is an online learning platform that provides lectures and videos on varied subjects. It aims to provide education accessible to everyone and about courses that they dream of. Unacademy reported a loss of approximately Rs. 1,537 crore in the year 2021.

Paytm

Founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm is a digital payment and financial services company. It was founded in the year 2010. ‘Paytm’ is the acronym for ‘pay through mobile’. After gaining a lot of popularity after demonetization, it reported a loss of around Rs 1,710 crore in 2021.

PhonePe

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Similar to Paytm, PhonePe is also a digital payment and fintech company in India. It was founded in 2015 by Sameer Nigam, Burzin Engineer, and Rahul Chari. The company’s mobile-based UPI app was released in 2016. In 2021, it reported a loss of approximately Rs. 1,728 crore.

Eruditus

Eruditis is an edtech company founded in 2010 by Ashwin Damera and Chaitanya Kalipatnapu. The company is present in several countries inculding India and offers courses in multiple languages. It has partnered with the top universities of India to offer quality education. Eruditus reported a loss of around Rs. 1,934 crore in 2021.

Flipkart

Flipkart is an Indian e-commerce company that was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007. The company was later acquired by Walmart and the founders of the company also quit. It is also the parent company of many Myntra, Ekart, PhonePe, etc. Flipkart reported a loss of around Rs. 2,446 crore in 2021.

Udaan

Udaan is an Indian B2B trading platform that aims to solve the trade problems faced by small and medium-sized businesses. It was founded in 2016 by Vaibhav Gupta, Amod Malviya, and Sujeet Kumar. The company reported a loss of approximately Rs. 2,482 crore in 2021.

Oyo

Oyo is a hospitality chain of hotels, living spaces, and homes. It is currently present in more than 230 Indian cities that provide affordable accommodation to its guests. It was founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal. In 2021, Oyo reported a loss of around Rs. 3,944 crore.

There are many other Indian startups that have reported losses in the year 2021. In India, SEBI has a different set of rules for loss-making and profit-making companies to go public. This is because it is often hard to evaluate how a loss-making company is performing. This is also why certain startups are public companies while they are making a loss.

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