Indian Economy News

IIT ranks fourth among universities where unicorn founders studied: report

New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has produced 12 unicorn founders and ranks fourth among popular universities where founders of these $1 billion private companies studied for their degrees.

The study “Unicorn League” conducted by Sage, a cloud accounting software company, examines what these $1 billion companies have in common, the schools which breed the most founders and other such issues.

Which universities did unicorn founders go to?

Stanford tops the table with 51 unicorn founders as alumni, while Harvard comes second with 37 founders. US institutions account for nine of the top 15 most popular universities among unicorn founders. The IITs ranked fourth, while the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta ranks joint seventh with the University of California at Berkeley: Haas with 3 founders.

IIT has produced 12 unicorn founders so far that include Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (Flipkart), Abhay Singhal (InMobi), Ankit Bhati and Bhavish Aggarwal (Ola),

Deepinder Goyal (Zomato), Jyoti Bansal (AppDynamics), K.V. Rao (Zuora), Pankaj Chaddah (Zomato), Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal) and Sanjay Sethi (

Here is what we discovered about unicorn founders and unicorns

When were unicorns founded?

2007 was a bumper year, with 29 companies that would go on to become unicorns, including Dropbox, Hulu and Flipkart.

How many years until they reach unicorn status?

Four is the most common age, with 35 companies breaching the $1billion mark in that timeline. 2015 was the “year of the unicorn”, with 86 companies reaching unicorn status.

Speed to unicorn

2016 unicorns reached that status, on average, in 6.37 years—the fastest across the last five years.

The study also found that 94% of founders were male, while only 30 of the 498 founders were female. 67% of unicorns were created by co-founders and 33% by single founders. For 60% of the founders, their current unicorn is the first and only company they’ve built. Those who founded more than one company have, on average, a 34.5% higher valuation than those who founded just one company ($4.29 billion versus $5.88 billion). The US has the most unicorn headquarters (144), followed by China (47) and India (10).The UK (9) leads the pack in Europe, followed by Germany (6).

California (95) boasts the most headquarters, followed by New York (19) and Beijing (18). Consumer Internet (49) is the most common unicorn sector, ahead of software (48), e-commerce (37), financial services (22) and healthcare (18).

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.