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India added 1,600 tech start-up, 12 unicorns in 2020: Nasscom report

As India moves towards becoming a digital economy, the technology start-up ecosystem continues to witness a significant growth trajectory on the back of rapid digitalisation and tech adoption.

A Nasscom and Zinnov report says over 1,600 tech start-ups were added to the ecosystem last year with a record number of 12 new unicorns – the highest ever added in a single calendar year. The Indian tech start-up base is witnessing a steady growth at a scale of 8-10 per cent yoy, according to the report titled Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem – On the March to Trillion Dollar Digital Economy.

Indian start-ups not only managed to stay afloat amidst uncertainties and rapid experimentations after the pandemic outbreak, but also strategically strengthened their playbook by converting the crisis into opportunity. Depending on headwinds, 2021 promises to be a positive year for Indian tech start-ups – marching steadily towards a trillion-dollar digital economy goal.

--Tech start-up base continues to expand steadily at 8-10%

-- Record 12 unicorns added in 2020 - highest ever in a calendar year

-- Investor sentiment recovered with H2 2020 funding up by 90% over H1 2020

-- 2,100 start-ups leveraged deep-tech up from 1,600 in 2019

-- Potential unicorn pipeline stays strong with 1.5X growth since 2019

Core growth drivers for 2020

  • Digital acceleration, shift to SaaS-based solutions & moving from offline to online

  • Vocal-for-Local provided market support for start-ups to thrive

  • Remote work enabled start-ups to reduce burn whilst accelerating growth of new start-up hubs

Converting crisis into opportunity

  • 30-35% start-ups are offering remote roles

  • 50-55% founders believe profitability to be given weightage alongside valuation

  • 28-30% start-ups targeting overseas market

  • 40-45% diversified products to adjacent businesses post lockdown

  • 66% founders exploring partnerships post Covid-19 outbreak

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