New Delhi– While the country witnessed several key industries bearing the brunt of the Covid onslaught, the Indian tech startup ecosystem grew by leaps and bounds owing to a strong smartphone-based app economy and an ever-evolving digital landscape in the 75th year of Independence.

While the pandemic-hit 2020 saw the emergence of 11 new unicorns (Unacademy, Pine Labs, FirstCry, Zenoti, Nykaa, Postman, Zerodha, Razorpay, Cars24, Dailyhunt and Glance), the year 2021 has already witnessed a whopping 21 startups which are now valued at more than $1 billion.

The 21 startups have raised over $20 billion to date. This month, BharatPe, Mindtickle, upGrad and CoinDCX entered the unicorn club, scripting a never-seen-before rally in the country.

Taking the success story further, India is going through a tech IPO (initial public offering) boom as it commemorates the 75 years of Independence.

From Zomato and Paytm to online insurance marketplace Policybazaar, from logistics services company Delhivery to fashion platform Nykaa and Car Trade Tech, it is raining IPOs from the startup and unicorn club in the country.

According to a Nasscom-Zinnov report, India is on track to have a 50-plus strong unicorn club this year, after adding over 1,600 tech startups in 2020.

“Covid-19 has accelerated digital adoption and the shift to online in the country. This has created new opportunities for tech start-ups that are capitalising on this opportunity with rapid digital acceleration and a shift to software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based solutions,” according to the report.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), at Gurgaon-based CyberMedia Research (CMR), the golden age of Indian startups is here — from consumer apps to spacetech, from edtech to mobility — originating not just in the traditional startup hotspots, but in the small towns of ‘Aspirational India’ as well.

“What is remarkable is the success that women entrepreneurs have scripted, against all odds, and their contribution to job creation and economic growth,” Ram told IANS.

Another glory lies in the fact that the Indian tech startups have begun to shun Chinese investments as desi corporates and wealthy individuals, along with investors from other countries, have come onboard to fund the homegrown firms.

The US-based investment firm Tiger Global is currently leading when it comes to investing top dollars, overtaking another US-based venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital, as the top investor in the burgeoning Indian startup/unicorn ecosystem.

According to Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal, who saw a bumper IPO that took the market value of the food delivery platform to nearly $13 billion, “The tremendous response to our IPO gives us the confidence that the world is full of investors who appreciate the magnitude of investments we are making and take a long-term view of our business.”

The new-age consumer tech-driven startups, which touched the daily lives of millions during the pandemic, have joined the investment bandwagon and are raking in the moolah.

“Backed by policy initiatives at the Centre and in the States, stronger digital infrastructure, and better innovation and incubation frameworks, India’s startup ecosystem will continue to soar,” said Ram. (IANS)

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