$4.3bn funds raised by Indian start-ups in 9 months: Nasscom

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Bengaluru, Oct 25 (IANS) Depicting growth in Indian start-up industry, a total of $4.3-billion (Rs 31,476-crore) were raised by the start-ups over a span of 9 months from January to September, IT industry apex body Nasscom said on Thursday.

“The investment in Indian start-ups increased 108 per cent annually from $2-billion from January to September in 2017, to $4.2-billion during the same period in 2018,” Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh told reporters at the 15th edition of Nasscom Product Conclave 2018 being held in this tech hub.

The IT trade body released its report on ‘Indian Start-up Ecosystem — Approaching Escape Velocity’ as part of the two-day conclave, which said a total of 1,200 start-ups were added in 2018 till September.

The number of start-ups in the country grew over the past five years with a total of about 7,200-7,500 as on September, the report said.

The apex body, however, did not share how many start-ups are active and functioning.

A total of eight unicorns, which are start-ups valued at over $1-billion, were added to the start-up ecosystem in the country, the highest number in a calendar year in the start-up history, the report said.

Hospitality firm Oyo, food delivery and restaurant search platform Zomato, food delivery platform Swiggy, business-to-business e-commerce start-up Udaan, educational technology app Byju’s, digital payments app Paytm owned e-commerce platform Paytm Mall, software maker Freshworks and digital insurance aggregator Policybazaar became unicorns this year.

Start-ups in the country have been able to create an estimated 40,000 new jobs over the year, taking the total jobs in the start-up ecosystem to 1.6-1.7 lakh, the report assessed.

Another four to five lakh indirect jobs are also estimated to be created by the start-ups.

“This is the right time for India to become a bigger start-up hub in the world, as it is brimming with innovation and new ideas. We ask the government to open itself as the market and allow start-ups to sell their products to the government which can make a huge difference,” Ghosh stressed.

There was a need for the governments to support start-ups in a big way, especially in a seed-funding stage (early investments until start-ups can generate revenue), she added.

Improving the ease of doing business in the country was also another factor that could aid start-up growth, Ghosh said.

“Enabling structured institutional support for early stage start-ups to tap global markets, aligning state policies to help create sector-specialist start-up hubs and focus on capacity building are some of the areas to be worked on by the industry to accelerate growth in India’s start-up ecosystem,” the report said.

–IANS

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