India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, as reported by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade’s #StartupIndia. The DPIIT added the number of Indian startups has grown from just around 350 before 2014 to more than 90,000 in 2023, with more than 100 of them classified as unicorns (those with a valuation of more than $1 billion). With a year-on-year growth of 12-15%, DPIIT’s data implies that between two and three tech startups are set up every day.
#StartupIndia identified increased corporate partnerships and support from India’s government as the key drivers of growth. At a G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting held in Mumbai, DPIIT Minister Piyush Goyal emphasized the value of investing in disruptive innovators across the value chain and using their innovations to improve public service delivery. The minister added that more than 26 states in India have adopted tech startup policies.
Further illustrating India’s booming tech startup ecosystem, Stanford University’s latest AI Index report revealed that India is ranked fifth in the world in terms of investments received by startups that offer AI-based products and services in 2022. Last year, AI startups in India received a total investment of $3.24 billion, surpassing countries such as South Korea, Germany, Canada, and Australia.
When asked by Forbes India about the current state of the Indian startup ecosystem, Microsoft India’s Executive Director of Digital Natives Sangeeta Bavi said, “Startups and small businesses in India are showing an accelerated use of technology to fuel their growth and expand users and customers. They are not just making technology in India for India; they are making tech in India for the world.”
Some Indian startups that have made the list of the world’s top 100 unicorns include BYJU's, Swiggy, OYO Rooms, Dream11, Razorpay, and Ola Cabs.