Last updated on March 17, 2023
While the attention of investors is mostly on primary and secondary markets, unlisted companies represent what can be called a pre-primary market in stock market parlance. Mostly, companies feel the need to go public sooner or later in order to get growth capital or to boost visibility but there are some exceptions as well. Some of the private players become largest unlisted companies not just in India but also at a global scale. Depending on their size and stage in evolution, unlisted firms can offer meaningful opportunities. Here, we take a look at the biggest unlisted companies in India.
#1 Serum Institute of India (SII) – Most Valuable Unlisted Company in India
Adar Poonawalla-promoted Serum Institute of India is now the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and India’s biggest unlisted company. The Polio vaccine, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, as well as Pneumococcal and Covid-19 vaccines are among the vaccines produced and sold by the institute.
According to some estimates, SII-produced vaccines are given to at least 65% of children worldwide. Millions of lives have been saved worldwide thanks to the company’s vaccines. It is not surprising to see Serum Institute of India as the biggest unlisted company in India, given its strong credentials.
Value – INR 2,19,700 crore (up 20% y/y)*
Revenue FY 2021 – INR 7,201 crore
ROE – 33.75%
Byju’s is an Indian multinational educational technology company, headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. It was founded in 2011 and operates on a freemium model. It was launched in August 2015, offering educational content for students from classes 4 to 12 and in 2019 an early learning program started for classes 1 to 3. It also trains students for examinations in India such as IIT-JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, and international examinations such as GRE and GMAT. Although primarily an online player, the company has started opening its offline learning centers.
Value – INR 1,82,200 crore (up 35% y/y)*
Revenue FY 2022 – INR 10,000 crore
Learning Centers – 200+
Learners – 150+ million
Services – 120+ countries
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#3 National Stock Exchange of India (NSE)
With derivatives and stock trading volumes exploding in recent years, especially in the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in sharp jump in revenues. NSE’s business model entails revenue visibility and high return ratios, safely making it among the biggest unlisted companies in India. Its rival BSE is already a listed entity and NSE may also be out of this list of top unlisted companies in the next couple of years.
Value – INR 1,39,300 crore (down 17% y/y)*
Revenue – INR 9,500 crore
ROE – 34%
Total Listed Companies on NSE in 2022 – 1,600+
Bangalore-based Swiggy finds a place in the list of largest privately-held companies in India. It is the leading online food item ordering and delivery player in the domestic market and competes with Zomato. Started in 2014, the company has ramped up operations to offer services in over 500 cities. Swiggy is backed by several leading VCs including Naspers, Accel India, SAIF Partners, Norwest Venture Partners.
Value – INR 88,600 crore (up 114.80% y/y)*
Revenue – INR 5,704.90 crore
Employees – 10,000+
Funding/Investment raised so far – INR 5,705 crore
Read Also: All-time largest IPOs in India at a glance
OYO’s platform provides full-stack technology that claims to boost earnings and streamline operations for small enterprises with hotels and houses. At the same time, it offers reliable, inexpensive lodging to visitors. Established in 2013, it has become the biggest hospitality player in India and has also expanded overseas. OYO has residences in more than 800 cities in 80 countries.
Nevertheless, the platform has its share of issues with high cancellation rates and dissatisfaction among network partners being the prominent ones. OYO’s plan to launch its IPO has also hit a snag with the market regulator returning its draft papers.
Value – INR 77,800 crore (up 10.40% y/y)*
Revenue – INR 4,781.3 crore
5 Year Sales Growth – 0.14%
#6 Dream11 – Only Sports Venture Among Top Unlisted Companies
Dream11 is a fantasy sports gaming platform where users can participate in fantasy cricket, hockey, football, kabaddi, handball, basketball, volleyball, rugby, futsal, American football, and baseball. Users can also build their own fantasy teams based on real-life matches. In the sports gaming genre, Dream11 continues to grow at high rates and also became the first Indian fantasy sports company to become a unicorn in April 2019.
Value – INR 66,200 crore (up 10.30% y/y)*
Active Users – 15 crore+
Revenue – INR 4,065.03 crore (up 50% y/y)*
ROCE – 6.08%
#7 Parle Products
Parle Products is one of the largest FMCG players and largest unlisted companies in India. Ironically, it is also one of the oldest in the list of largest unlisted companies. Established in 1929, it moved from being a bakery to primarily a biscuit maker supplying to British Army. Its biscuit brand Parle-G was the best-selling biscuit brand in the world in 2020, according to Nielsen.
Value – INR 62,600 crore (up 142.60% y/y)*
Revenue – INR 16,202 crore
Product – 150+
Given the structural shift of services and commerce to online mode, it is only natural that payments processing witness emergence of new players. Razorpay fits the bill perfectly as one of the few converged payments solution company in India allowing businesses to accept, process, and disburse payments through a wide variety of payment modes, including credit and debit cards, UPI, and popular mobile wallets.
Promoted by Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar and backed by GIC, Sequoia, Tiger Global and Y Combinator among others, RazorPay has witnessed impressive revenue-growth in recent years. Like several other players among largest unlisted companies, RazorPay is planning to launch its IPO in coming years.
Value – INR 62,100 crore (up 176% y/y)*
Revenue – INR 1,485 crore
ROE – 2.77%
Users – 50 lakh+
ANI Technologies-owned Ola is India’s largest mobility platform and is among the world’s largest ride-hailing companies. The Ola app offers mobility solutions by connecting customers to drivers and a wide range of vehicles across bikes, auto-rickshaws, metered taxis, and cabs. The company competes with the likes of Uber, Zoomcar, and Revv apart from incumbent players like Meru Cabs.
Value – INR 60,500 crore (up 168.90% y/y)*
Revenue – INR 23,229 crore
Services – 250+ cities
Funding/Investment raised so far – INR 1,490 crore
#10 Intas Pharmaceuticals
Intas Pharma – a global player in formulation development, manufacturing, and marketing – is another healthcare player among top unlisted companies in India. It is the largest privately held Indian generic pharma firm and has managed a revenue growth rate in excess of 25% in the last 5 years.
Apart from India, the company has manufacturing operations in the UK and Mexico. In order to better tap the opportunities in global markets, Intas Pharma has chalked out a growth strategy under Accord Healthcare.
Value – INR 59,300 crore (up 11.30% y/y)*
Revenue – INR 18,416 crore
Funding/Investment raised so far – INR 2,000 crore
CAGR – ~22%
* All valuation data for top unlisted companies is sourced from Hurun 2022 study
Biggest Unlisted Company FAQs
Which is India’s most valuable unlisted company?
Vaccine-maker Serum Institute of India (SII) sits at the top of the most valuable unlisted companies in India. Its latest valuation jumped to INR 2,19,700 crore, according to a Hurun study.
How are unlisted companies valued?
Total addressable market size, growth rates, profit margins and intangible assets are some of the factors used in the valuation of unlisted companies.
Who are the investors in unlisted firms?
Although unlisted companies are not traded on stock exchanges, private equity investors, venture capital firms and large family offices often feature among their investors.