It was an historic week for India's technology industry. In the space of four days, (stock market)  the country minted at least six new startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more -- what techies call unicorns because they're supposed to be such rarities.

In rough order of size: The investment platform Groww raised money at a valuation of more than $1 billion, messaging bots startup Gupshup hit $1.4 billion, digital pharmacy API Holdings Pvt. was valued at close to $1.5 billion, app developer (stock market)   Mohalla Tech surpassed $2.1 billion, social commerce startup Meesho Inc. also reached $2.1 billion and financial-technology provider Cred rounded out the blessing of unicorns at $2.2 billion.

For context, India had a total of seven new unicorns in all of 2020, according to (stock market)   market researcher CB Insights. In 2019, it had six.

Global investors such as Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. and South Africa's Naspers Ltd. see growing opportunity in the country's startup scene. The nation of 1.3 billion people has seen the rapid adoption of smartphones in recent years, explosive growth of inexpensive internet services and a new generation of ambitious entrepreneurs.

"Large funds such as Naspers, SoftBank and Tiger Global have significant amounts of capital to invest and these startups are now on top of their list," said P.N. Sudarshan, a partner at Deloitte.

India has long trailed well behind the U.S. and China in the amount of venture capital money invested in startups. The total value of deals in 2020 was $11.8 billion, compared with $143 billion in the U.S. and $83 billion in China, according to researcher Preqin.

But several startups have emerged recently to signal the potential in the South Asian country. Digital payments giant Paytm reached a valuation of $16 billion,(stock market)   making it the most valuable in the country, according to CB Insights. Online-education startup Byju's is rasing money at a $15 billion valuation, Bloomberg News reported last week.

Flipkart, the e-commerce giant acquired by Walmart Inc. in 2018, is targeting an initial public offering in the fourth quarter that could value the company at more than $35 billion.

The venture investments are helping to diversify India's industry, long best known for tech services companies such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Infosys Ltd. A Credit Suisse Group AG report last month found there are about 100 unicorns in India with a combined market value of $240 billion, in sectors from e-commerce and fintech to education, logistics and food-delivery.

"India's corporate landscape is undergoing a radical change due to a remarkable confluence of changes in the funding, regulatory and business environment in the country over the past two decades," the report said. "An unprecedented pace of new-company formation and innovation in a variety of sectors has meant a surge in the number of highly-valued, as-yet unlisted companies."