NASSCOM report: Indian startup ecosystem received ₹31,500 crore funding, added 1,200 startups, 8 new unicorns in 2018

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Indian startup ecosystem continues it attract investors as it continues to mature and drives technological innovation across domains. While investors seemed to shy away from Indian startup during 2016-17, the number of investments and investors this year weaves an entirely different story for the Indian startups.

According to the latest NASSCOM report, titled, “The Indian Startup Ecosystem – Approaching Escape Velocity“, over the period of 2013-2018, up to 7,700 startups have been launched all across India.

The report adds, that more than 1,200 startups were added in 2018, with 8 startups joining the elite unicorn club, highest in a single year, taking the total number of Indian unicorns to 18. Also, the total funding received by the startups during the period of January to September 2018 was ₹31,500 crore ($4.3 billion), witnessing an increase of over 100% from $2 billion in 2017.

The Indian startups that turned unicorns this year included UdaanOYO, Freshworks, Zomato, Swiggy, Paytm Mall, and Byju’s. Indian startups also witnessed rapid expansion, with a number of startups foraying into the international markets.

Last month, OYO raised $1 billion in funding from Softbank, valuing the hotel chain at $5 billion. Also, B2B marketplace Udaan raised $225 million, to join the coveted unicorn club.

Furthermore, in 2018, the seed stage investments dropped by 21% to $151 million, while late stage (series C, D, E, F) investments increased by over 250% to reach $3 billion, from $847 in 2017.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “The start-up landscape in the country is becoming the epitome of innovation, with companies bringing out solutions that are aimed at solving locally relevant issues. Today, India is brimming with new ideas which need the right guidance and funding to be scalable for the market. India is advancing steadily towards its digital transformation. The start-up ecosystem is playing a critical role here, bringing in innovation and disruption in much-needed areas, creating jobs, and offering technological solutions to all kinds of problems, thereby improving the lives of people.”

Advanced technology startups like Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, Augmented Reality/Virtual reality, Blockchain and Internet of Things, among others, witnessed an unprecedented growth, as Indian startup ecosystem evolves to support innovation.

Tech startups rode on the back of innovation and the push from the government towards the adoption of technology, enhancement of infrastructure, and financial inclusion.

AI startups reported a growth of 120% in funding with more than $150 million. “The need of the hour is AI in natural language processing,” said Debjani Ghosh, president of Nasscom.

With more than 210 accelerators and incubators active in India, the startup ecosystem is further boosted through their experience and expertise in training and mentoring the early stage startups.

While the government has played a crucial role in the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem, there is a need for more transparent policies, along with the improvement in the ease of doing business, to make India a true innovation hub.

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