By Elton Gomes
India seems to be producing unicorn companies at a never-before-seen pace. In 2018 alone, eight new start-ups joined the unicorn club. A company becomes a unicorn company when its valuations cross $1 billion individually.
The Indian startup ecosystem is witnessing rapid growth. A total of 1,200 new tech startups were added in 2018 till September, including the aforementioned eight unicorns, NASSCOM announced yesterday at the 15th edition of Nasscom Product Conclave 2018 held in Bengaluru.
This marks a significant improvement as compared to the figures in 2017 when funding was sluggish and barely 1,000 new startups joined the ranks. “The investment in Indian start-ups increased 108% annually from $2-billion from January to September in 2017, to $4.2-billion during the same period in 2018,” said NASSCOM president Debjani Ghosh, as per a report in Business Today.
NASSCOM also released its ‘Indian Startup Ecosystem – Approaching Escape Velocity’ report. The report stated that India now has about 7,700 tech startups, thus making it the third largest in the world, as reported by the Economic Times.
In addition, the pace of growth in the new additions doubled to 15% per year-on-year in 2018, while the number of incubators and accelerators grew 11% year-on-year to over 200. More importantly, the number of women entrepreneurs stood at 14%, up from 10 and 11% in the previous two years.
Why are startups growing so fast in India
A surge in late-stage deals and confidence amongst investors to support large businesses have allowed start-ups to foster in India. Because of this, the average time taken to attain a billion-dollar valuation has come down to 5-7 years, Nasscom said in its a report.
Which startups have crossed the $1 billion valuation
Indian startups who have crossed $1 billion in valuation this year include Freshworks, Oyo, Swiggy, Zomato, Paytm Mall, Policybazaar, Udaan, and Byju’s.
With this, the total count of Indian unicorns is 18. In comparison, the US has 126 unicorns, while China has 77 companies in its unicorn club.
India is third largest base of tech startups
According to a 2015 report by news agency PTI, India was the third-largest base of tech startups in the world. Tech giant Google said that India was home to more than 4,100 enterprises, and the number was set to increase over the next few years.
Emphasising the boom in India’s tech sector, Google India’s head Rajan Anandan said a connected India with access to the web would empower Indians further, and it would help businesses grow.
“At over 4,100 enterprises, India has the third-highest number of tech startups in the world, this number is expected to reach several thousand by 2020,” Anandan said in a blog post, PTI reported.
The future of startups in India
It seems that the future is definitely bright for Indian startups. If India wishes to cement its position as the startup hub, it is important to nurture and sustain its increasing entrepreneurship culture.
Indian businesses have to keep up with rapid changes in technology and should be willing to experiment. Indian businesses should have a firm grip on digital strategy and be conversant with emerging technologies as well.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, the blockchain, and digital currencies are some of the key trends that are bound to make an impact on Indian businesses.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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