Recently India made a century in style as it got its 100th unicorn startup. A five-year-old, Bengaluru-based neo bank that raised $50 million in a Series D funding led by IIFL, Singaporean state holding company Temasek, American investment firm Tiger Global and another Indian firm 3one4 Capital. This helped the Startup in crossing the $1 billion valuation mark.
A record 44 Indian startups achieved unicorn startups status as of January 2022. Which took the overall tally of startup unicorns to a 100. With a total valuation of $277.77 billion, the majority of them are in the services sector. Contributing over 50% to India’s GDP, according to an economic survey.
Many politicians and entrepreneurs have appreciated the startup to gain a unicorn startup:-
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar said ” I still remember when the idea of 100s of unicorns in India was pitched, how ambitious it looked.
Today, India has land opportunities and a vibrant ecosystem supporting startups to grab them! Proud of this special century”
While Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal said ” India Hits A Century In Style! 💯 Bengaluru-based startups become the country’s 100th Unicorn startups.🦄 India = Ideas + Innovation + Investments”
Niti Aayog, which is already a part of many of the startup flagship projects, was at the social media appreciation party too. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said, ‘’This reflects the dynamism of young Indian entrepreneurs out to change the world.’’
The countdown for the 100th unicorns had started early in the year but the Russian attack on Ukraine had temporarily stopped the startups’ race to reach the $1-billion valuation. At last, neo banking fintech Open, founded by Anish Achuthan and close family members including his wife Mabel Chacko, entered the club on Monday, leaving its mark, according to Inc42’s unicorn tracker. Before Open Achuthan had already founded four startups.
Journey to 100 unicorn startups:-
It’s a decade-long journey to 100 unicorns for India. InMobi, a mobile advertising platform was the first unicorn announced in 2011.
The total funding raised by 100 unicorns altogether has been around $90 billion. At a combined valuation of $333 billion, according to the tracker.
Flipkart and Byju’s have topped the list. But some trackers don’t include Flipkart as a unicorn as it is now under the wings of American retail major Walmart.
The 100th unicorn is coming after a month of no big announcement in terms of fundraising. The year 2021 was great, with at least three to four unicorns being added every month. According to Venture Intelligence data. The year saw fundraising of $42 billion across 1,579 deals.
India is steadily marching on its mission to build a robust startup ecosystem. To promote entrepreneurship and support them, the government has created a department solely dedicated to helping new businesses. In addition to it, the Central Government of India has also launched many schemes to promote entrepreneurship in India and to assist emerging startups financially.
Let’s have a look at some of the government schemes which are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs:-
1- SAMRIDDHI Scheme
SAMRIDH scheme, launched on August 25, 2021, stands for Startup Accelerators of MeitY for Product Innovation, Development, and growth. It is an initiative that was launched to provide funding support to startups. Along with helping them bring skill sets together to help them grow successful.
The newly launched SAMRIDH program aims to focus on the acceleration of around 300 start-ups. By extending them with customer connect, and investor connects and providing opportunities for overseas expansion in the upcoming three years that will follow.
2- Startup India Seed Fund
Launched on 16 January 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this scheme to help startups and support ideas from upcoming entrepreneurs. The PM said that the government is taking important measures to make sure that startups in India do not face any fund shortages.
The reserved fund for the Startup India Seed Fund scheme. The Union Budget for 2022 is Rs 283.5 crore. Which is higher than the revised estimate of around Rs 100 crore for the previous year.
3- Qualcomm Semiconductor guidance Program (QSMP)
Qualcomm, the mobile processor manufacturing giant, has collaborated with the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). To conduct the Qualcomm Semiconductor Guidance Program (QSMP) 2022 for startups that are working in the Indian semiconductor space. C-DAC is the R&D of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Qualcomm India is planning to provide guidance, technical training, and industry outreach opportunities to Indian startups. That is from the semiconductor industry with this scheme. As per the sources, Qualcomm India will select 10 Indian startups for its guidance program. Each of these startups will be paired with a Qualcomm India leader. For guidance on product planning and development.
4- India Water Pitch-Pilot-Scale Startup Challenge
The government of India launched a scheme on March 12, 2022. Which was announced by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Where selected startups of India will get a grant of Rs 20 lakhs with the support and guidance from the Ministry Of Housing And Urban Affairs. Which aims to motivate as many as 100 startups in the water sector.
Minister Puri announced this initiative in New Delhi. It is under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0.
Minister Puri declared that through this initiative the water sector startups will get assistance. And through their joint effort, it will lead them towards growth “through innovation and design that will drive sustainable economic growth and generate employment opportunities.”
5- Stand Up India
Especially keeping in mind the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and women. This scheme will work on the following objectives:
- Financial help in preparing a project plan to ease the process of availing bank loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore
- The initiative encompasses several schemes to provide financial help. These include setting up a Rs 10,000 crore fund as venture capital for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.
Allocating Rs 20,000 crore to set up a specialized bank for the SME sector (Mudra Bank), and earmarking Rs 1000 crore to support startups.