India now a land of 83 unicorns, mostly in services sector: Eco Survey

India now has 83 unicorns, most of which are in the services sector and 44 startups achieved the unicorn status (values more than $1 billion) last year, the Economic Survey 2021-22 said on Monday.

Presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the survey document revealed that the number of new recognised startups increased to over 14,000 in 2021-22 from 733 in 2016-17.

“India has become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world after the US and China,” read the document.

Forty-four Indian startups have achieved unicorn status in 2021 taking the overall tally of unicorns to 83, most of which are in the services sector, it added.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind said the startup ecosystem has generated more than 6 lakh jobs to date.

“Our startup industry is also an example of the infinite new possibilities that are rapidly taking shape under the leadership of our youth. Since 2016, 60,000 new startups have been established in 56 different sectors in our country,” he emphasised.

Several homegrown startups have said that to further aid small businesses and empower entrepreneurs, the Union Budget 2022-23 should introduce additional startup-friendly policies and tax relaxations to enable spending on innovation, ease-of-doing business and reducing compliance costs.

New reforms, policy assistance and support mechanisms for establishing a focused approach in solving unmet financial needs through technology will significantly benefit the economy, they have stressed.

Indian startups raised a record $24.1 billion in 2021, a two-fold increase over pre-Covid levels, while $6 billion were raised via public markets with 11 startup IPOs, a Nasscom-Zinnov report said last week.

The Indian tech startup base continues to witness steady growth, adding over 2,250 startups in 2021, which is 600 more than 2020.

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