Indian start-ups raised around $24.1 billion in equity financing in CY2021, of which the majority was poured into unicorns, according to the Nasscom Startup Ecosystem Report 2021. Last year, the Indian tech start-up ecosystem had seen the addition of around 2,250 new entities.
In CY21, Indian start-ups raised around two times more in investments against the previous year, out of which 61% were raised by 42 unicorns alone. Around 10-15% start-ups now have at least one woman co-founder, including 10 unicorns.
Close to 24% of the unicorns and the 135 potential unicorns identified by Nasscom are actively acquiring, investing or collaborating with other start-ups, contributing a sizeable chunk to M&A deals in CY21. The report said there was a two-time increase in M&A deals executed by these, compared with CY20.
The report also added that some 1,180 unique start-ups received funding in the same year. Out of this, around 690 start-ups that were founded before CY21 raised their first round ever. The unique start-ups that raised their first round in CY21, secured cumulative funding worth $1.1 billion, which is 2.7 times higher than 2020.
Enterprise Tech, BFSI, EdTech, Retail and Retail tech continue to be investor favourites at early stage. BFSI witnessed a breakout year, accounting for 15 unicorns, 35 potential unicorns, and 25% of investments in 2021. Retail and retail tech, edtech, food tech, SCM & logistics cornered 35% of investments. Agri tech, automotive, social platforms, industrial and manufacturing also witnessed a significant up-tick in funding in CY21.
Around 750 institutional investors participated in various funding rounds in CY21. The pool of active angel investors went up to 2,400 in CY21, up by 20% from when compared with CY20. Around three times more investors participated in mega-rounds (deals >$100 million) against 2020.
More than 260 unique corporates were active investors in start-ups in CY21, up from around 170 in CY20. The report also pointed that out of the 175 new corporates that invested in start-ups in CY21, around 52% were global MNCs.
Around 6.6 lakh direct jobs and 34.1 lakh indirect jobs were created by start-ups in the last decade alone.
Nasscom estimates the cumulative valuation of the start-up ecosystem to be around $320-330 billion in current prices.
Also, around $400 million was transferred in wealth across 10,000 employees via ESOP buybacks, according to the report.