Start-ups in India 2018: How impactful were Indian entrepreneurs? Find out

ZeeBiz WebTeam | Dec 26, 2018, 12:53 PM IST

Start-ups in India 2018: India has emerged as a breeding ground for innovation and entrepreneurship and that has created an exciting space for start-ups. That the space is marked by positivity is clear from the creation of scalable and repeatable business models. In fact, in the year 2018, the country has witnessed dramatic rise of eight unicorns from among the startups across verticals as against a mere nine in six years from 2011 till 2017. 

Giving the details, IT industry apex body Nasscom said that the start-ups joining the select club for their valuation over $1 billion (Rs 7,000 crore or more) include Oyo Rooms (hospitality), Zomato and Swiggy (food delivery), Udaan (retailer marketplace), Byju`s, (edu-tech), Paytm Mall (e-tail), Freshworks (software programmer) and Policybazaar (digital insurance).

With the addition of the start-ups, about 40,000 jobs were created during the year, taking their total in the ecosystem of 7,200-7,500 firms to 1.6-1.7 lakh.  


According to IT industry apex body Nasscom, the focus of these start-ups is to acquire customers globally made them unicorns from India. The National Association of Software and Services Companies` (Nasscom) October report on "Indian Start-up Ecosystem: Approaching Escape Velocity", however, stated that about 1,200 start-ups were added till September. 

"The Indian ecosystem is adding about 1,300 start-ups every year but also seeing the demise of at least 300 of them from previous years," KS Viswanathan, Vice President (Industry Initiatives), NASSCOM, told IANS, while assessing their survival rate at three to five years. Image source: Reuters


The world`s largest retail giant, Walmart, in May bought 77 per cent equity stake in the country`s earliest e-tailer unicorn, Flipkart, for a whopping $16 billion in one of the largest e-commerce deals globally. "The Flipkart acquisition by Walmart was a shot in the arm for the country`s start-up sector," Viswanathan reportedly said. Image source: Reuters


The investment in the native start-ups rose by a phenomenal 108 per cent annually to $4.2 billion in nine months (January-September) from $2 billion in the same period of 2017, the Nasscom report said. By year-end, Swiggy and Byju`s raised hefty venture funds of $1 billion and $540 million (Rs 3,866-crore), respectively, indicating that global institutional and angel investors are betting on Indian unicorns. The New York-based market intelligence platform CB Insights reportedly said that about 60 per cent of the funds raised by Indian start-ups were invested in unicorns. Image source:


Adoption of disruptive technologies across verticals spanning education, food, health, hospitality and transportation has been driving growth of Indian start-ups. For instance, the four-year-old Swiggy, which has raised $1.26 billion so far, has been investing in its digital platform and delivery fleet. Image source: Reuters


During the year, Oyo and Ola also began expanding aggressively in the international markets. Gurugram-based Oyo reportedly stated that it invested on its technological prowess, sustaining demand generation across online and offline channels and identification and upgradation of properties within a short time to spur growth. The firm has raised $1 billion from SoftBank and other investors to become a unicorn. "We saw many firsts and celebrated key milestones this year. We entered three international markets -- the UAE, Britain and Indonesia," Oyo founder and chief executive Ritesh Agarwal told IANS. Image source: Reuters


Competing against the American ride-hailing firm Uber, Bengaluru-based Ola forayed into international markets starting in Australia and entered Britain and New Zealand. Image source: Reuters


According to Nasscom data, food delivery and restaurant search platform Zomato, which raised over $600 million since its founding in 2008 in Gurugram in Haryana, entered the unicorn club this year. Zomato has been expanding overseas since 2012 and operates in 24 countries, including Australia, Britain, Canada and the US. Image source: Reuters


The start-up ecosystem and its enablers, including stakeholders and policy regulations, play a key role in the growth of any firm, said Zomato`s global head of classifieds business Oytun Calapover. "Zomato is a great example of a homegrown start-up, which has been able to build equity not just in the home country, but overseas as well. This has been made possible by factors like government regulations and stakeholders," Calapover told IANS. Image source: Twiiter


Though the start-ups had a satisfactory year, the number of women leading some of them remained low. Of the total start-up founders, 11 per cent were women in 2017-18, up a mere three percentage points from eight per cent in 2016-17, according to Nasscom. The report said there is a need to advocate more women in start-ups for the government support, particularly at the seed-funding stage (early investments until they can generate revenue) and improving the ease of doing business to propel their growth. Image source: Pixabay