Signalling the rise of a new era in India’s much-enthused startup domain, a recent NASSCOM study sheds light on over 50 potential unicorns
Mumbai: As India continues to take swift steps towards digitalization, fuelled by policy reforms, technological innovation and digital transformation, India’s startup ecosystem is looking at the threshold of the next wave of growth by leveraging new technological innovations.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) recently launched their report on the Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem – Leading Tech in the 20s.
Adding more than 1300 startups in 2019, India continues to reinforce its position as the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, taking the total number of tech startups to 8900- 9300 in the last five years, the report said. The trend witnessed over the year was that startups are focussing more on B2B space and almost half of the country’s startups are offering enterprise-focussed services. India also witnessed the addition of seven unicorns in 2019 till August, taking the total tally up to 24, which is the third highest number of unicorns in a single country in the world.
Among the new unicorns, it was commendable to see that sectors such as gaming, SCM & logistics and automotive are receiving the recognition they deserve. There are also over 50 potential unicorns in the country at present that have received a cumulative funding of $50 million, growing the pool of unicorns by three times over last year with 35 new additions in 2019.
Speaking on the occasion, Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “The startup landscape in the country is becoming the epitome of innovation, with companies bringing out solutions that are aimed at solving locally relevant issues. However, to stimulate innovation, government and corporates need to focus on increasing their role as prominent stakeholders playing the part of venture capitalists and providing appropriate market access, funding and guidance to seed-stage startups.”
Entrepreneurs are now focusing on creating solutions using deeptech such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Analytics, Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT), among others. Over 18 per cent of all startups are now leveraging deep tech, which means there are over 1600 such companies in India. This number constituted only 8 per cent of startups set up in 2014 and has seen a 40 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the past five years.
“Indian startup ecosystem has definitely come a long way in providing a level playing field for innovators to flourish by strengthening capabilities and fostering co-creation. The next wave of growth will be at the junction of convergence of technologies, where different sectors will embrace digital to re-define their operations,” she added.
The country has over 335 active incubators and accelerators with a capacity to enable over 5000 startups every year. More than 65 per cent share of incubators and accelerator programmes were added in the last five years, out of which 57 per cent are active outside Tier I cities. The robust startup ecosystem of India is at a cumulative valuation of $95-101 billion and has given rise to 3,90,000 to 4,30,000 direct jobs with over 60,000 jobs generated in 2019 alone. NASSCOM aims to accelerate this ecosystem significantly by 2025.
Over 1300 startups added in 2019; seven unicorns added in 2019 till August
Third highest number of unicorns in the world; 43 per cent of startups are B2B
Over 480 startups registered overseas with R&D in India, including 20-plus international unicorns
More than 335 active incubators and accelerators in India
57 per cent of incubators & accelerators active outside Tier I cities
3,90,000 to 4,30,000 direct jobs created by startups till 2019