LinkedIn Top Startups of 2021 in India- Unacademy, Udaan, CRED [See Top 25 Indian companies]

More than 76 million professionals in India on the platform, the annual LinkedIn Top Startups list reveals 25 young emerging companies, where India wants to work now.

The 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups list reveals 25 young, emerging companies where India wants to work now.

Over the past year and a half, professionals across India have been pushed to reevaluate the way they live and work in the wake of the pandemic. With economic recovery starting to happen at different paces across industries, many professionals are looking for something new, asking themselves: “What’s next?” 

Startups are a natural place to look to for new ideas and innovation. And our 4th annual LinkedIn Top Startups list is the resource to find the startups you should be watching right now, reflecting 25 companies that have continued to attract investment, employees, and attention in 2021. 

1. Unacademy

Full-time headcount: 5,000 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2015 | Most common skills: C (Programming Language)C++, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | Most common job titles: Teacher, Senior Business Development Executive, Sales Manager | What you should know: Unacademy – which bills itself as the “Netflix of education” – has seen its valuation soar to $3.44 billion as the company eyes new categories like upskilling, hiring and creator-led courses. The SoftBank-backed startup has rolled out stock options to reward its teachers for loyalty and plans to give out nearly $40 million in grants over the next few years.

2. Udaan

Full-time headcount: 4,500 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2016 | Most common skills: Operations ManagementSupply Chain ManagementMarket Research | Most common job titles: Business Development Executive, Team Lead, Operations Executive | What you should know: Three million retailers, 30,000 sellers and 900 cities: that’s the scale of Udaan, which has cornered 80% of India’s B2B e-commerce market by bridging the digital divide for millions of small shops. Revenue has bounced back to pre-second wave levels and the company is targeting 100% year-on-year growth this year.

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Full-time headcount: 400 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2018 | Most common skills: JavaSQLPython (Programming Language) | Most common job titles: Product Specialist, Back End Developer, Software Engineer | What you should know: Credit card rewards platform CRED grabbed attention after its quirky ads featuring Rahul Dravid and other former cricketers went viral. There are many perks to working at this fintech unicorn: ESOPs for all employees, unlimited leave and salary advance, to name a few.

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4. upGrad

Full-time headcount: 3,350 | Headquarters: Mumbai | Year founded: 2015 | Most common skills: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Market ResearchC (Programming Language) | Most common job titles: Senior Admissions Counsellor, Academic Adviser, Business Development Manager | What you should know: Remote work and rising demand for upskilling have become tailwinds for online educator upGrad, which doubled its learner base in just eight months. A recent entrant into the unicorn club, the Ronnie Screwvala-led startup has upped its merger and acquisitions game and is pushing for international expansion.

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5. Razorpay

Full-time headcount: 1,890 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2014 | Most common skills: JavaC (Programming Language)C++ | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Junior Analyst, Frontend Engineer | What you should know: If you do online transactions, chances are you use Razorpay’s payment gateway quite often. The fintech unicorn has had a banner year: it processed $40 billion worth of payments while revenue rose by 40-45% month-on-month throughout 2020. This unprecedented surge in digital transactions has prompted the company to launch new products and hire in large numbers. 

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6. Meesho

Full-time headcount: 1,000 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2015 | Most common skills: SQLC (Programming Language)Java | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Key Account Manager, Business Development Manager | What you should know: Social commerce platform Meesho – short for “Meri Shop” – turned into a unicorn in April following a large funding round led by SoftBank. Placing importance on employee wellbeing, Meesho has announced a 10-day companywide break this November following festive season sales on the platform.

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7. Skyroot Aerospace

Full-time headcount: 80 | Headquarters: Hyderabad | Year founded: 2018 | Most common skills: SOLIDWORKSMATLAB, ANSYS | Most common job titles: Propulsion Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer, Design Analysis Engineer | What you should know: Founded by engineers of ISRO’s rocket design centre, Skyroot is building technologies for reliable and economic access to space. The award-winning startup is testing a futuristic cryogenic engine that runs on cleaner burning liquid natural gas.

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8. boAt

Full-time headcount: 290 | Headquarters: New Delhi | Year founded: 2016 | Most common skills: Product Development, Adobe PhotoshopDigital Marketing | Most common job titles: Product Manager, Marketing Manager, Operations Manager | What you should know: Homegrown consumer electronics brand boAt has taken the audio equipment space by storm with its value-for-money offerings and smart marketing tactics. Its vastly popular headphones, earbuds and speakers have captured more than a third of the domestic market, while the company has emerged as the fifth biggest wearables brand in the world.

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9. Urban Company

Full-time headcount: 1,300 | Headquarters: Gurugram | Year founded: 2014 | Most common skills: C++C (Programming Language)SQL | Most common job titles: Category Manager, Software Engineer, Customer Service Specialist | What you should know: Whether it was getting a haircut or fixing a broken tap, home services startup Urban Company emerged as the go-to platform when we were cooped up inside during lockdowns. The strong business moats reflect in the company’s growth: it has become a unicorn, achieved business volumes that are twice the pre-pandemic levels, and plans to go public within two years.

 See jobs at Urban Company | See people you may know at Urban Company

10. Agnikul Cosmos

Full-time headcount: 80 | Headquarters: Chennai | Year founded: 2017 | Most common skills: ANSYS, MATLABSOLIDWORKS  | Most common job titles: Strategist, Propulsion Engineer, Structures Engineer | What you should know: Working closely with ISRO, AgniKul Cosmos builds launch vehicles to carry small satellites to low earth orbit. The liquid-oxygen powered launches were paused during the peak of COVID-19, to allow sufficient oxygen supply for those suffering from the illness.

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11. ShareChat

Full-time headcount: 1,260 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2015 | Most common skills: C++Python (Programming Language)C (Programming Language) | Most common job titles: Software Engineer Operations Lead Data Scientist | What you should know: It’s been a hectic year at Twitter and Snap-backed ShareChat, which launched its short-video app Moj after TikTok was banned in India. The startup prides itself on its machine learning-based content recommendation technology and supporting creators with a vast music library, Snap’s augmented reality filters and powerful editing tools.

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12. Pristyn Care

Full-time headcount: 1,200 | Headquarters: Gurugram | Year founded: 2018 | Most common skills: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Operations ManagementMarket Research | Most common job titles: Business Development Manager, Category Manager, General Manager | What you should know: What happens when two doctors and a startup veteran come together? A lean healthcare startup like Pristyn Care, which offers minimally invasive surgeries by renting idle infrastructure in hospitals. That approach has helped the company achieve scale: it now offers services in over 30 cities and aims to grow the business five-fold in the next two years.

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13. Dunzo

Full-time headcount: 450 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2015 | Most common skills: SQLPython (Programming Language)C (Programming Language) | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Operational Specialist, Community Specialist | What you should know: From delivering your forgotten phone charger to making a pharmacy run, this hyperlocal delivery platform has transformed the way people shop. As part of its ‘Dunzo Daily’ service in Bengaluru, the startup aims to provide groceries and essentials to customers within 19 minutes. Looking to have more women join their team, the startup has set a higher incentive for referrals of female candidates.

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Full-time headcount: 270 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2020 | Most common skills: C++JavaC (Programming Language) | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Senior Program Manager, Product Manager | What you should know: This farmtech company provides more than 1 million farmers with tech-driven solutions and scientific information at every stage of the crop cycle. To help curb pollution from stubble burning practices in Punjab and Haryana, the startup is offering farmers a bio-enzyme that can decompose crop residue. 

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15. Schbang

Full-time headcount: 650 | Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra | Year founded: 2015 | Most common skills: Social Media MarketingDigital MarketingAdobe Photoshop | Most common job titles: Solutions Strategist, Creative Strategist, Visualiser | What you need to know: This creative & technology transformation company was behind a campaign that saw its client, glue manufacturer Fevicol, comment on more than 100 brands’ Friendship Day posts, to “cement the bonds” of friendship. The startup has hired more than 200 employees since the pandemic and is on the lookout for more creative minds. 

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16. BluSmart

Full-time headcount: 102 | Headquarters: Gurugram | Year founded: 2019 | Most common skills: SQLJava, Core Java | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Android Developer, iOS Developer | What you should know:  To create a diverse and inclusive workforce, the all-electric ride-hailing platform plans to onboard at least 500 women driver-partners in one year. It recently made headlines for its partnership with Jio-bp to set up electric vehicle charging stations in the country. 

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17. Cogno. AI

Full-time headcount: 80 | Headquarters: Mumbai | Year founded: 2017 | Most common skills: Python (Programming Language)C (Programming Language)Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Python Developer, Django Developer  | What you should know: The startup helps businesses automate customer support using natural language processing-driven bots. From going almost bankrupt to reaching $1 million in revenue in 2.5 years, the startup is a testament to how to rise against the tide. 

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18. NoBroker

Full-time headcount: 2,000 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2014 | Most common skills: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), SQLC++  | Most common job titles: Relationship Manager, Sales Executive, Unit Lead | What you should know: NoBroker, a tech-driven real estate platform which connects buyers and sellers directly, has diversified its offerings by providing services like painting, home sanitisation, cleaning, and pest control. The company hopes to expand its footprint to top 50 Indian cities.

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Full-time headcount: 1,215* | Headquarters: Mumbai | Year founded: 2019 | Most common skills: Python (Programming Language)C++Java | Most common job titles: Online Tutor, Curriculum Designer, Business Development Manager  | What you should know: This edtech startup hired over 500 online tutors during the pandemic. Lido Learning has taken its coding programme to the US and Canada, with hopes to expand to the UK, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

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Full-time headcount: 120 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2017 | Most common skills: Python (Programming Language)SQLJavaScript | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Customer Success Manager, Sales Development Representative |  What you should know: A platform that automates customer support tasks for companies, aims to expand its presence to Europe and the US and double the size of its team in the coming months. It is looking to hire across engineering, product, marketing and sales roles. 

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21. Groww

Full-time headcount: 700 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2016  | Most common skills: JavaC (Programming Language)C++ | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Equity Trader, Customer Success Executive |  What you should know: Simplifying investment for the masses, this fintech firm has made its way to India’s startup unicorn club. What’s next? The company is entering the mutual funds space through its acquisition of Indiabulls Asset Management Company. 

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22. Ninjacart

Full-time headcount: 1,640 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2015 | Most common skills: Supply Chain ManagementOperations ManagementLogistics Management  | Most common job titles: Sales Executive, Operations Executive, Operations Manager | What you should know: This startup is working to fix the inefficiencies in India’s fresh food supply chain by tapping technology and analytics. Within 12 hours, 1,400 tonnes of perishables are transported directly from farms to businesses every single day. This has helped increase farmers’ incomes by 15-20% while retailers get quality produce at a reasonable cost. 

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23. Trell

Full-time headcount: 500 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2016 | Most common skills: Python (Programming Language)C (Programming Language)C++  | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Content Specialist, Content Moderator  | What you should know: This lifestyle vlogging platform allows influencers to share product recommendations through short videos and users to buy those wares. The social commerce platform recently raised $45 million from Mirae Asset, H&M Group and LB Investments.

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24. FamPay

Full-time headcount: 65 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2019 | Most common skills: SQLSocial Media MarketingPython (Programming Language)  | Most common job titles: Growth Specialist, Software Engineer, Customer Success Specialist | What you should know: FamPay offers numberless prepaid cards for teens. The app equips children to make online transactions without depending on their parents for banking details or OTPs. The startup claims that it values talent over degree and 65% of its team comes from unconventional backgrounds such as sports and performing arts.

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25. Mobile Premier League (MPL)

Full-time headcount: 800 | Headquarters: Bengaluru | Year founded: 2018 | Most common skills: SQLJavaC++ | Most common job titles: Software Engineer, Product Manager, Data Analyst | What you should know: A recent addition to India’s unicorn club, the esports and online gaming platform plans to amplify its reach in the US and Indonesia. The startup is also looking to invest in original gaming content and hire talent across engineering, product management and design functions.

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