Delhi NCR is home to over 7,000 startups and 10 unicorns, with these new businesses having a cumulative valuation of about $50 billion, ahead of cities such as Bengaluru and Mumbai, a report released by TiE Delhi-NCR and Zinnov on Tuesday stated.
According to the ‘Turbocharging Delhi NCR startup Ecosystem’ report, Delhi NCR accounted for a 23 per cent share of startups in the country. While there were 7,039 startups in Delhi NCR, Bengaluru had 5,234, Mumbai 3,829 and Hyderabad 1,940. These new companies were founded between 2009 and 2019.
Within Delhi NCR, Delhi accounted for 4,491 startups, Gurgaon 1,544 and Noida 1,004 new businesses. The report highlighted that Delhi NCR has 10 unicorns — firms with valuation of over $1 billion — as against nine in Bengaluru, two each in Mumbai and Pune, and one in Chennai.
NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant, who released the report, said vibrant hubs need to be created in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida that can be catalysts and agents of change. He also assured that the government will continue to support setting up of incubation centres in the region to help the startup ecosystem. Kant highlighted that six Indian cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune — are among the top-100 startup hubs globally.
“Except the US, no other country has more than five cities in the list, making India truly a broad-based startup ecosystem,” he added.
The report added that with appropriate interventions, Delhi NCR can become one of the top 5 global startup hubs and could have over 12,000 active technology startups, 30 unicorns and account for cumulative valuations of more than $150 billion.
“What’s encouraging about the ecosystem in Delhi NCR is that we actually have a very broad varied mix … As a region, NCR has created at least one unicorn every year since 2013 … And unlike other regions, the 10 unicorns that we have, they’re not from one particular sector, they are from FinTech, e-commerce, logistics, food, energy and so on,” TiE Delhi NCR president Rajan Anandan said at an event. He added that is actually a competitive advantage that the National Capital Region (NCR) has and needs to be built on further.
The region also accounts for over 50 per cent of cumulative valuation of Indian startup ecosystem at $46-56 billion, compared to $32-37 billion for Bengaluru and $10-12 billion for Mumbai. Further, five of the top 10 most-valued startups in India are based in Delhi NCR (such as OYO Rooms, Paytm and Hike).
However, like other parts of India, the pace of new startups being founded in Delhi NCR has slowed down in the past two years. According to the report, 1,361 startups in Delhi NCR and a total of 5,875 startups were founded in India in 2016.
The number of startups being founded in Delhi NCR stood at 826 (2017), 420 (2018) and 142 in the first half of 2019. A total of 3,478 startups were set up in India in 2017, 2,036 in 2018 and 800 in the first half of 2019, it added.
There is a critical need to increase affordable co-working spaces in Delhi NCR.
Startups shell out between Rs 9,500-13,500 per desk a month at co-working spaces, a huge cost for fledgling businesses. The report recommended setting up of centres of excellence and spaces on the lines of T-Hub in Hyderabad to help startups continue to innovate and grow their operations.
Further, quality of accelerators and incubators, developing deeper pools of technical talent and developing sector-specific policies will help in further strengthening the region’s position as a startup hub, it added. —FE