Back to 80 alumni-founded unicorns . . . and counting

McKinsey alumni-founded unicorns 2023: Asia

McKinsey alumni are leading a surge in Asian companies worth over $1 billion, with 22 unicorns founded in 6 different countries. At least two companies have reached decacorn status, meaning they are worth over $10 billion, and three alumni in the region have founded multiple unicorns. Spanning various industries, from e-commerce to transportation, alumni-founded unicorns are disrupting traditional business models and are creating innovative solutions to meet the needs of consumers in the region. Read on to see who made the list.

Did we miss any? Let us know for our next list.


Leigh Jasper (XIA 98-00)
Headquarters: Melbourne
Value: $1.2B at acquisition (Public information from Dec. 2017)

Aconex is a cloud-based collaboration platform for the construction industry. Its software is designed to improve project efficiency and reduce risk by providing a centralized platform for all project stakeholders. The platform offers a range of tools for managing construction projects, including document management, workflow automation, and communication tools.

Founded in 2000, Aconex has been used on some of the world's largest construction projects, including the Panama Canal expansion and the Dubai Metro. Aconex celebrated its IPO in 2017 and was acquired by Oracle in 2017 for $1.2 billion, becoming a part of Oracle’s Construction and Engineering product.


Yada Piyajomkwan (BAN 14-17)
Headquarters: Jakarta
Value: $1B (Public information from Oct. 2021)

Ajaib is an Indonesian investment startup founded by Yada Piyajomkwan in 2018. The company aims to make investing accessible by providing low-cost investment options and user-friendly technology. Ajaib offers a range of investment products, including mutual funds and stocks, and has partnerships with leading financial institutions.

Ajaib became Indonesia’s fastest startup to unicorn in 2021, serving more than 2 million investors in Indonesia today. In 2022, the company invested $100 million into Indonesian commercial bank Bank Bumi Arta, highlighting Ajaib’s planned expansion into digital banking.


Vikram Chopra (MUM 06-09)
Headquarters: Gurugram
Value: $3.3B (Public information from Dec. 2021)

Vikram Chopra is CEO and co-founder of Cars24, a leading online platform for buying and selling pre-owned cars. The company offers customers a hassle-free and transparent process to streamline the pre-owned car-buying experience, including car inspections, financing, and insurance.

Founded in India in 2015, Cars24 has expanded into Australia, Thailand, and the UAE. The company recently reported that it had surpassed its pre-pandemic benchmarks, with annual transactions exceeding 2 million units and a 4X increase in website engagement.


Rohit Chennamaneni (CHN, MUM 12-16)
Headquarters: Hyderabad
Value: $1B (Public information from Jan. 2023)

Rohit Chennamaneni is the co-founder of Darwinbox, a cloud-based HR tech platform that helps companies manage their HR processes more efficiently and effectively. Darwinbox offers a range of HR solutions, including payroll, performance management, recruitment, and employee engagement.

The company became the youngest-ever inclusion in Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant list and reached unicorn status in 2022. Rohit credits DarwinBox’s progression to a relentless focus on customers. “We took pains to go beyond ‘standard definitions’ of HR tech set by legacy players,” he says. “We continuously adapted, listened to our customers’ needs, and innovated. We’re still doing that.” Today, the company serves over 2.5 million employees across 850 enterprises.

Glance & InMobi Group

Naveen Tewari (MUM, SVO 00-03, 05-05)
Headquarters: Glance - Singapore; InMobi - Bangalore
Value: Glance - $1.8B (Public information from Feb. 2022); InMobi - $1B (Public information from Aug. 2015)

Naveen Tewari is a dual unicorn founder and the CEO of InMobi Group. Founded in 2007, InMobi is a global advertising platform and India’s first tech unicorn. The company helped advertisers serve billions of targeted impressions to mobile phone users.

Naveen launched Glance in 2019 to enable brands to engage consumers with personalized content and services on the lock screens of their mobile phones. The InMobi subsidiary quickly hit unicorn status in 2020. Together, InMobi and Glance are, respectively, one of the world’s largest independent mobile advertising platforms and one of the largest lock screen platforms in the world.

GoTo Group

Nadiem Makarim (JAK 06-11)
Headquarters: Jakarta
Value: $28.5B before IPO (Public information from Nov. 2021)

Nadiem Makarim founded this Southeast Asian super app in 2010. Originally a motorcycle ride-hailing service called Gojek, the company has expanded into other digital marketplace categories, offering a range of services, including transportation, food delivery, and payments.

Gojek and e-commerce titan Tokopedia merged in 2021 to become one of Southeast Asia's largest and most valuable startups. Serving millions of users in three countries, GoTo Group reportedly added $7.1 billion to the Indonesian economy in 2019. The company celebrated its IPO in 2022.


Hooi Ling Tan (KLA, SFO 06-13)
Headquarters: Singapore
Value: $40B at SPAC IPO (Public information from Dec. 2021)

Grab is a Southeast Asian super app co-founded by Hooi Ling Tan in 2012. Originally a taxi-hailing service called GrabTaxi, the company has evolved its offerings to include deliveries, mobility, financial services, enterprise, and more, becoming one of Southeast Asia's largest and most valuable startups.

Grab completed its SPAC IPO in 2021. The company recently acquired Singapore’s third-largest taxi operator, Trans-cab, and raised $856 million for its payments and financial services business. The company serves millions of consumers across 428 cities and eight countries in Southeastern Asia.

Sophie Kim, co-founder of Market Kurly


Sophie Kim (HKO 10-11)
Headquarters: Seoul
Value: $1.7B (Public information from Apr. 2023)

Sophie Kim is the founder and CEO of Korean online shopping startup Kurly. Launched in 2015, Kurly provides customers access to a curated selection of consumer goods delivered right to their door, including groceries, cosmetics, personal care products, and health supplements. The company is recognized as a pioneer in South Korea for its “dawn delivery” model, which guarantees customers next-morning deliveries on late-night orders.

Kurly reached unicorn status in 2021. The company launched its first overseas expansion in 2022, partnering with Lazada-owned RedMart to offer Kurly products to consumers in Singapore. The company has raised $767 million to date from investors, including Sequoia Capital and DST Global.


Max Bittner (MUN 07-12)
Headquarters: Singapore
Value: $1.5B at acquisition (Thomson Reuters estimate from Apr. 2016)

Lazada is an e-commerce platform co-founded by Max Bittner to connect buyers and sellers across Southeast Asia. Lazada offers a range of products, including electronics, fashion, home and living, and beauty and health. Lazada also provides services to help small and medium-sized businesses scale and grow their online presence.

Since launching in 2012, Lazada has expanded into six markets throughout Southeast Asia. The company was acquired by Alibaba Group in 2016 for $3 billion, operating as the company’s regional flagship, and projects to serve 300 million customers by 2030.

LinkDoc Technology

Shan He (BEI, SHA 11-17)
Headquarters: Beijing
Value: $1B (Public information from Sep. 2020)

LinkDoc Technology is a China-based healthtech startup founded by Shan He in 2014 focused on leveraging data to help doctors better diagnose, treat, and conduct clinical research. The company provides a digital platform for patients, connecting them with healthcare providers, and offers features such as online consultations, appointment booking, and medical record management. LinkDoc’s platform also provides AI-powered data analytics and insights to healthcare providers to accelerate China’s biopharmaceutical industry.

LinkDoc operates in 31 markets throughout China, has served 85% of the world’s top 20 life science companies, and partnered with more than 330 hospitals to care for more than 3.5 million Chinese patients.

Mensa Brands

Ananth Narayanan (CHI, CHN, CLE, FIR, SHA 99-99, 00-15)
Headquarters: Bangalore
Value: $1B (Public information from Nov. 2021)

Ananth Narayanan is the co-founder and CEO of Mensa Brands, an e-commerce aggregator providing Indian companies with the resources and expertise necessary to scale their businesses. Mensa Brands acquires and operates high-growth consumer brands, currently operating 25 brands across home goods, beauty, fashion, and digital influencer spaces.

Founded in 2021, Mensa Brands reached unicorn status in just six months, becoming the fastest company in India to do so. The company recently expanded into the UAE, introducing three brands to the country’s leading e-commerce platforms, and is currently eyeing Saudi Arabia for further expansion.

OfBusiness & Oxyzo Financial Services

Ruchi Kalra (DEL, MUM 07-16) and Asish Mohapatra (DEL 06-10)
Headquarters: Gurgaon
Value: OfBusiness - $5B (Public information from Dec. 2021); Oxyzo - $1B (Public information from Mar. 2022)

Ruchi Kalra and Asish Mohapatra are a married alum couple who have founded two unicorns. The pair founded OfBusiness in 2015 to help Indian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) procure raw materials. Their B2B marketplace offers SMEs efficient supply chain management and transparent pricing.

Oxyzo was founded in 2016 as OfBusiness’ financial services business and reached unicorn status in 2022. Oxyzo offers credit solutions and loans to help SMEs secure manufacturing, infrastructure, and construction materials. Both companies recently expanded into new categories, with Ofbusiness acquiring food processing company Koeleman India and Oxyzo launching new intermediary services between lenders and SMEs.


Dhaval Shah (MUM 14-15)
Headquarters: Mumbai
Value: $5.6B (Public information from Nov. 2021)

PharmEasy is a leading Indian digital pharmacy platform co-founded by Dhaval Shah in 2015. The company provides a convenient and reliable way for customers to order medicines and healthcare products from the comfort of their homes.

PharmEasy was named to CB Insight's 2022 Digital Health 150 list, ranking the world’s most promising digital health startups. In 2021, the company reached 25 million users, 8.8 million orders, and 2.4 million transacting customers.

Rebel Foods

Jaydeep Barman (LON 06-10)
Headquarters: Mumbai
Value: $1.4B (Public information from Nov. 2021)

Rebel Foods is an Indian food-tech company co-founded by Jaydeep Barman in 2011. The company operates several food brands, including Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, and Oven Story Pizza, and delivers food directly to customers through its app and third-party delivery platforms. Rebel Foods' cloud kitchen model allows the company to operate with lower overhead costs and offer a wider variety of cuisines and dishes.

Rebel Foods reached a billion-dollar valuation in 2021, raised $395 million in funding, and has expanded operations to 70 cities in 10 countries. The company announced a partnership with fast-food company Wendy’s to help grow Wendy’s cloud kitchen capabilities in India.


Deepak Garg (SYD, DEL 06-14) and Gazal Kalra (DEL 07-09)
Headquarters: Gurgaon
Value: $1.1B before acquisition (Public information from Aug. 2022)

Rivigo is an Indian logistics company founded by Deepak Garg and Gazal Kalra to help optimize India’s logistics industry and improve transportation efficiency. Rivigo's unique relay trucking model allows drivers to switch trucks at designated pit stops, reducing transit time and improving delivery times.

Rivigo has developed a network of over 400 operating partners and executed 19,000 deliveries since 2014. The company became a unicorn in 2019 and was acquired by Mahindra Logistics-owned subsidiary MLL Express Services in 2022.

Tata 1mg

Prashant Tandon (NJE, SFO 06-06, 07-10)
Headquarters: Gurugram
Value: $1.3B (Public information from Sep. 2022)

Prashant Tandon is the co-founder and CEO of Tata 1mg, a startup that offers consumers healthcare products and services, from medicine and health supplements to lab tests and online doctor consultations.

Founded in 2015 as 1mg, the company was acquired by Tata Digital in 2021. Today, Tata 1mg is one of India’s largest digital healthtech companies, delivering to homes in more than 1,000 cities and helping millions access affordable healthcare.

The Good Glamm Group

Naiyya Saggi (MUM 07-09)
Headquarters: Pune, India
Value: $1.2B (Public information from Nov. 2021)

The Good Glamm Group is a leading “house of brands” for beauty and personal care, co-founded by Naiyya Saggi. The group’s portfolio includes six direct-to-consumer cosmetics and personal care brands that offer high-quality and affordable beauty products, including makeup, skincare, and personal care items. The brand ecosystem also includes media companies, content creator and influencer platforms, and interest group communities.

The Good Glamm Group reports over a 250% year-on-year compound annual rate, creating 200 million monthly active users and reaching 1.5 million influencers and content creators.


Vaibhav Gupta (ATL 07-07, 08-11)
Headquarters: Bengaluru
Value: $3.1B (Public information from January 2021)

Vaibhav Gupta is the co-founder of Indian B2B e-commerce platform Udaan. Founded in 2016, Udaan connects manufacturers, wholesalers, traders, and retailers across various industries, providing small and medium-sized businesses with the network and technology they need to operate and grow their businesses.

Over 3 million users across India use Udaan to access 15 million manufacturers and 25-30 million retailers. The company records over 4.5 million monthly transactions and has reported four consecutive quarters of growth.


Kavitha Subramanian (MUM 04-07)
Headquarters: Mumbai
Value: $3.5B (Public information from Nov. 2021)

Upstox is an India-based online brokerage company co-founded by Kavitha Subramanian in 2009. The company offers a range of investment products, including stocks, derivatives, and mutual funds, and provides a user-friendly trading platform. Upstox's platform offers real-time market data, advanced charting tools, and customizable watchlists.

Backed by Tiger Global, Upstox has become one of India's fastest-growing online brokerage firms, serving over 1 million Indians. The company plans to introduce new investment options in the next three quarters, including sovereign gold bonds, digital gold receipts, and bank fixed deposits.


Amrit Acharya (SVO 16-18)
Headquarters: Bangalore
Value: $2.5B (Public information from Dec. 2021)

Amrit Acharya is the co-founder and CEO of Zetwerk, an India-based global manufacturing startup that provides a digital platform for businesses to source and manage manufacturing services. Zetwerk offers customers access to real-time project tracking, quality control, and competitive pricing. The company’s technologies streamline the supply chain and improve efficiencies, making it easier for companies to bring their products to market.

Founded in 2018, Zetwerk became a unicorn in 2021. “Today, 20% of our revenues come from the U.S.,” says Amrit. “We have also expanded beyond industrials into consumer electronics. We are proud of creating a business model that allows us to enter new geographies and categories with a strong right to win on Day 1.”

Discover alum-founded unicorns from other regions