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Acceleration seen in Indian startup ecosystem, finds study

March 18, 2022: Management solutions company, Primus Partners, in collaboration with 9Unicorns, Startup Odisha and iStart Rajasthan,  has co-authored a report titled ‘Start-up Accelerators: Engines of Economic Growth’.
The report highlights insights from multiple interviews and a pan-India survey conducted among 250+ start-ups on their current needs from the ecosystem and their outlook on start-up accelerators in India. It explores ways in which government partnerships and support can enhance the impact of accelerators. Accelerators form a critical part of the Indian start-up ecosystem, providing significant support to early-stage start-ups and creating an indirect but large economic impact on the country.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
-India reported a total of 91 unicorns (till February 2022), with a cumulative valuation of $315bn, with ~50% of the unicorns emerging in the last 2 years
-About 3-4 start-ups were being funded per accelerator per year in 2005; this jumped to ~20-25 start-ups funded per accelerator per year in 2020
-80% of the seed and early-stage start-ups in the survey picked ‘funding’ as their most important need
-55% of our survey respondents have applied to either Y Combinator or TechStars, indicating that early-stage startups are keen to access the support provided by these global accelerators
-63.6% of the respondents selected mentorship pool as an accelerator’s most beneficial offering
-All survey respondents deemed availability of networking opportunities as another key benefit provided by accelerators. Full report here.
“2012 saw the beginning of the early wave of accelerators in India, and Venture Nursery (VN) was among the very first, attaining a 250x exit with OYO - validating the accelerator model for India,” said Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and Managing Director at 9Unicorns. “The focus of these accelerators is providing support to start-ups, from funding to talent building – we now see a lot of success stories coming out of accelerators in the country.”
Shravan Shetty, MD, Primus Partners, said “The current model of acceleration is the way forward for the start-up ecosystem in India. Even unicorns have started accelerators of their own, realizing the importance of and need for supporting and nurturing innovative start-ups. Accelerators can also help with on-ground implementation of start-up programs for the government, and it is important to enable such accelerators with access to infrastructure and capital – multiple such examples are prevalent in countries like Singapore and USA and which India can aim to emulate.”
Tech note: Unicorn is the term used in the venture capital industry to describe a startup company with a value of over $1 billion. The term was first coined by venture capitalist Aileen Lee in 2013.