HR Tech Startup Darwinbox Logs-in as India’s First Unicorn in 2022

Darwinbox’s journey from seed to unicorn is truly inspiring not just for the founders but also for India, as it became the first Indian Unicorn in 2022 which stayed rooted to its Origin city – Hyderabad. The investor who cut the first cheque to this company way back in 2016 Sateesh Andra of Endiya Partners says “Darwinbox will inspire many more entrepreneurial ventures from Hyderabad and brings the spotlight to the city.”

Chaitanya Peddi, Co-founder and Product Head of the Darwinbox shares – “Building for extraordinary agility and delivering stellar employee experience have been critical in defining success for Darwinbox’s customers. We will continue to invest in new and innovative technology to deliver a frictionless experience for the work-from-anywhere workforce.”

Sateesh who continues to invest in the company in all its fund raising added “Today, Indian technology firms are competing and winning at a global level. When I first met Darwinbox six years ago, they were one of the very few SaaS technology firms to start in Hyderabad.

Since then, we have come a long way. The highly passionate and experienced team led by three Telugu boys along with promising technology talent in the city made them the fastest growing start-up.”

Darwinbox has set its sights on the next big target – emerging as Asia’s numero uno human capital management platform by 2025.

Currently our platform is third in Asia after ERP giants SAP and Oracle. “Our next milestone is becoming the no 1 HCM platform in Asia in the next 2-3 years and then we will look at other markets as well,” Darwinbox co-founder Jayant Paleti said.

Asia’s leading HR technology platform Darwinbox raised $72 Million funding led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) at $1B+ valuation , an inspiration many startups would like to emulate.

Set up in 2015 by Paleti along with Chaitanya Peddi and Rohit Chennamaneni, the startup serves some of Asia’s largest conglomerates including Adani, Mahindra, Vedanta, SBI General Insurance, Kotak, TVS, NSE, Aurobindo, Ramky as well as companies such as Bigbasket, Swiggy and Makemytrip.

Darwinbox has just raised $70 million in a growth stage funding round led by TCV (Technology Crossover Ventures and other existing investors that include Endiya Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, 3One4Capital, JGDEV and SCB 10X taking its total funding to over $110 million so far.

Darwinbox : Endiya Partners spot on identifying a seed that had potential to become an Unicorn

Darwinbox team celebrating its unicorn status

Endiya Partners MD Sateesh Andhra, who wrote Darwinbox’s first cheque when it was just a fledgling startup working out of a penthouse room, said: “When I first met Darwinbox six years ago, they were one of few Saas technology firms to start in Hyderabad. ”

Darwinbox a landmark day for SaaS Ecosystem – Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary , Telangana

Telangana IT & industries principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan termed Darwinbox’s journey as a landmark day for Saas ecosystem in Hyderabad, which has over 300 Saas players. Pointing out that this has busted serveral misconceptions about Hyderabad, he said:

“There is a mistaken belief that Saas companies only work successfully out of Madras but that is not true. Example of Darwinbox and Zenoti and HighRadius show that there is enough going for Saas companies here because of presence of large companies like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Informatica,” he said.

Capital Chases Ideas where ever they exist that’s how Sateesh Sums up on the evolving funding eco-system in Hyderabad. The growth is inevitable and Darwinbox is another standing example of grit and vision on how startups can accomplish its path to success.

“This investment energizes our mission to continue building technology that enables organizations to unlock the highest potential of their people. We have done this by building a product that puts employees squarely at the center and crafting meaningful experiences for them. This has especially found resonance in this rapidly evolving world of work over the last 2 years with companies having to rethink how they attract, manage and retain their talent,” shared Jayant Paleti, Co-founder, Darwinbox.

Founded in late 2015 by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti and Rohit Chennamaneni, Darwinbox currently stands as the youngest and the only Asian-origin player on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for enterprise Cloud HCM.

It is also rated the highest (4.8) globally on Gartner’s customer reviews platform, Peer Insights, racing ahead of its peers like SAP, Oracle, and Workday – a position they secured on the back of innovative technology, deep understanding of market context, intuitive user experience and great
customer traction.


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