2021: The Year of Uninterrupted & Exponential Start-up Growth

A few years ago, The Viral Fever was the freshest voice in the digital content space. The pioneering company had created the cult classic web show, TVF Pitchers. The story revolved around four talented individuals who fought against all odds to become successful entrepreneurs and raise angel investment for their startup. The show focused on how entrepreneurship was viewed as a highly risky avenue at the time. Be it friends, family or spouses, every one had an apprehension when well earning professionals wanted to quit their jobs to start something of their own.

This show had released ten years ago, when the Indian start up ecosystem was in its infancy stage. It is rather surprising to see how far the Indian startup ecosystem has come in just a span of a decade. While investments, deals and number of new startups had been growing steadily over the past several years, yet there never was such a boom in the sector as in 2021.

The year truly was the year of startup success. The year saw 3,143 new companies seeing the light of day and irrespective of the year of formation, approximately 1,638 new enterprises were funded this year. These startups raked a total of $35.4 billion in 2021 as compared to $13 billion that was invested in 2020. This year, there were 1,926 investment rounds, with 674 of them being Series A+ rounds. The numbers have never been this positive and this just goes to show the impending upward growth trajectory that the Indian startup ecosystem is on.

2021 was also touted to be the year of Unicorns. India saw a total of 41 companies gaining the coveted $1 billion valuation mark within a year bringing the total number of Indian unicorns to 77. That is a whopping 53 percent of the total number of unicorns the country has produced so far!

Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Accel, Blume Ventures, and Titan Capital were the top venture capitalist (VC) firms, while Temasek, WestBridge, CDC Group, Lightrock, and Dragoneer Investment Group were the top private equity(PE)firms. The number of unique investors increased by 23% to 1,808 in 2021, compared to 1,462 in 2020.

We really have come far in terms of maturity of the Indian startup ecosystem which is currently the third largest in the world after US and China.

If a show were being made on an entrepreneur’s startup journey, I’m sure the story will not project them as the underdog but as the rightful protagonist who is the harbinger of growth and prosperity.
It’s only onwards and upwards from here.

Do let us know your thoughts.