A recent article titled ‘What drives startup fundraising in India?’ was published as a part of the January 2023 issue of the Reserve Bank of India’s monthly bulletin. It shows that more startups have been becoming unicorns in recent years in India. The article also points out that the number of months taken by startups in India to climb up the funding ladder has drastically declined in recent years.
As on January 12 this year, there were 87,988 startups in India recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). This makes the country the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world. Only those entities which work towards innovation or which have a scalable business model are recognised in India as startups up to 10 years from the time of their incorporation and which had a turnover that did not exceed Rs. 100 crore in any year.
According to DPIIT, startups have created around 7.6 lakh jobs in India as of June 30, 2022. Also, the average age of startup founders India was reported to be 32 years (as of 2019) and 14% of the startups had at least one female founder (as of 2022).
In the post-pandemic period, startups have been on a fast lane in India. In 2021, the average time taken for a startup to become a unicorn dropped to 7.8 years from 9.9 years in 2020. A unicorn is a private limited company with a valuation of over $1 billion. Chart 1 shows the number of unicorns created in India each year. The number of unicorns has surged in the post-pandemic period with the total count increasing to 107 as of September 2022.