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Startups in India - statistics & facts

The Indian government defines a startup as an entity less than seven years young with an annual turnover of less than 250 million rupees and headquartered in India. The Startup India initiative by the country’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion helps build a positive, effective ecosystem in the country, turning business ideas into a reality for a flourishing startup environment. States and union territories across the country introduced startup policies following the government’s initiative. Even though the hiccup of the demonetization in November 2016 shook up various sectors of the economy, India’s ranking in the ease of doing business steadily grew until 2019.

Where do innovative businesses in India thrive?

What started as a software intensive hub has now expanded across industries and services branching out of the e-commerce tree. The largest root of that tree lies in Bangalore, India’s largest startup hub, followed by Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. Many of these companies have found success with a keen eye for hitting the niche in their respective market gaps and the right funding. India recorded a significant number of unicorn enterprises, reiterating the success of small seeds of ideas, growing into market disruptors.

Startup funding in India has consistently attracted big investors from across the globe. In recent years, large Indian companies including the Tata conglomerate and the founders of Flipkart have ventured into investing in small businesses. Many companies known by their brand names benefitted from funding and saw substantial growth in the last decade, becoming household names. Some of these include ride-hailing company Ola, hotel-chain OYO, digital payment service Paytm, and online food app Swiggy.

Challenges within India’s startup ecosystem

The only drawback in India’s explosive startup ecosystem seems to be the country’s struggling economy. This was dented even more with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and effects of the lockdown between March and May 2020. Despite collaborative public and private support, many startups declared loss in revenues and permanent or temporary closure. India’s startup ecosystem needs strong pillars to lean on in order to survive the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Startups in India".


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