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2021– A year that will be cherished by startups in India despite Covid 19

India's startup industry--the darling of investors

For India’s startup industry, circa 2021 will be cherished despite a brutal Covid 19 wave around April to June. More than 30 startups in India this year alone made it to the prestigious Unicorn list—a startup with valuation of $1 billion or more and estimates suggest that about $35 billion has already been pumped into these firms. Analysts said that the Indian startups will attract a significantly larger chunk of funds in the new year 2022.

In the last Union budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced extension of the eligibility of the startups for claiming tax holidays as well as exemption of capital gains for investment till March 31, 2022.

And now with the Union Budget in less than two months, many of these startups are looking for further measures from the government that will help them in growing and drawing funds.

According to Inc42, a media platform tracking Indian startups and entrepreneurs, if the present euphoria continues, “India will manage to get more than 100 unicorns by 2022, much earlier than the previous estimation of 2023.”

Also read: Softbank boss Masayoshi Son supports Unicorns, says India's future is bright

“But for that we expect more push from the government especially now as the focus is on job generation,” an analyst told India Narrative.

India already ranks third only after the US and China to have the largest number of unicorns.

Several new startup brands such as Myglam, Cure Fit, Grofers, Licious, Cred among others have already turned into unicorns this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Startup India programme, a government initiative to boost the startup ecosystem, in 2016 to create an enabling environment for these firms to nurture.

“Amid the pandemic, which also brought along uncertainties in regular and formal employment, many more people have shown the urge to take risks and start something of their own,” the analyst said, adding that while the startup ecosystem was showing robustness even before the disruption that came along with the Coronavirus, today with an altered work culture, a larger number of people-especially those who are young –aged between 35 and 42– are looking at entrepreneurship.

The startups have already created over 5.5 lakh jobs. In 2020-21 alone, about 1.7 lakh jobs were generated. 

“As the government’s thrust will also be on employment generation, these firms will play a more amplified role in the coming months,” the analyst said.