India has 83 unicorns with a total valuation of $277.77 bn: Economic Survey

`Patent filing by Indian residents is on the rise; MNCs take a back seat'

January 31, 2022 11:06 pm | Updated 11:06 pm IST - Bengaluru

India had 83 ‘unicorns’ with a total valuation of $277.77 billion, as on January 14, 2022, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22 released by the Ministry of Finance on Monday.

The year 2021-22 had so far been ‘an exceptional year’ for the primary markets with a boom in fundraising via initial public offerings (IPOs) by many new-age companies and technology start-ups, the Survey noted. In fact, ₹89,066 crore was raised via 75 IPOs between April and November last year, much higher than in any year in the last decade.

“The exuberance associated with the listings manifested in huge oversubscriptions by retail, HNIs and institutional investors and stellar listing gains have pushed more companies to tap the markets,” it said

“The tremendous response by all categories of investors in IPOs of companies was reflective of not only the confidence in markets but also in the performance of corporates and prospects of the economy in the long run,” it added.

The year 2021 alone saw 44 Indian start-ups turning unicorns. The country also overtook the U.K. to emerge as the third-highest in the number of unicorns after the U.S. and China which added 487 and 301 unicorns, respectively, in 2021.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of start-ups engaged in the space sector, to 47 in 2021 from 11 in 2019, as per the Survey.

The eligibility for claiming tax holiday has been extended for start-ups incorporated till March 31 by the Finance Act 2021, to incentivise such firms. The capital gains exemption for investment in start-ups has also been extended until March 31.

More patents

The document also pointed out that there had been a gradual increase in the filing and granting of patents in India. The number of patents filed in the country has gone up from 39,400 in 2010-11 to 45,444 in 2016-17 to 58,502 in 2020-21 and the patents granted in India have gone up from 7,509 to 9,847 to 28,391 in the period.

Further, the number of patent applications are increasingly coming from Indian residents rather than MNCs. The share of Indian residents in total applications has increased from 20% in 2010-11 to about 30% in 2016-17 and 40% in 2020-21. Consequently, India’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index has climbed 35 ranks, from 81 in 2015-16 to 46 in 2021.

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