India’s Startup Mafia 2.0: Oyo, Ola, Udaan spawn most number of entrepreneurs


Hundreds of former employees from some of India’s biggest unicorns who have left to start up on their own are creating a ripple wave of internet enterprise in what is now the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem.

Drawing on a record inflow of venture capital in the past decade, 297 founders have set up some 253 startups, igniting talk of a new-look “startup mafia,” as such cohorts of entrepreneurs are termed in industry parlance. These entrepreneurs, who have all raised venture funding, were earlier employed at companies such as Zomato, Zoho, Freshworks, Paytm, Citrus Pay, Snapdeal, Swiggy, Udaan, Oyo and Ola, according to data exclusively analysed by Longhouse Consulting for ET.

For this study, the talent advisory firm considered executives who had spent two years at a startup and launched a new venture within two years of quitting that job.

According to Anshuman Das, founder and chief executive of Longhouse Consulting, today’s Indian founders — unlike previous generations of entrepreneurs — are exploring ideas that are far more indigenous, and the trend is expected to continue. “This has also led to India leading the way for innovation in certain areas (such as fintech and SaaS),” he said.

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