According to a report by World Startup, which evaluated universal startup ecosystems and recent NASSCOM 2015 startup report, India is the fastest growing startup ecosystem in the world with +4200 startups by October 2015, 110 startup incubators/accelerators and 2 times growth in number of investors in recent past.
A very high percentage of known new businesses are ‘technology-enabled’ which eradicates the need to list out ‘ICT’ as startup enabler in India. Largely, ecommerce and aggregator startups have gained maximum visibility, traction and attracted investments in last 5 years and hyper-local ecommerce + consumer services have witnessed big investments.
Analytics across various domains (healthcare, travel, recruitment, supply-chain), robotics, 3d printing and machine learning are on the rise and can become the next big thing. A snapshot below lists the commodity innovation map from the World Startup report.
According to The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) of Department of Science and Technology India (DST) booklet, the sector wise startup growth can be summarized as follows:
Power (IoT, Alternate and renewable energy sources)
Healthcare (Patient – doctor relation, data analytics, point-of-care treatment)
Financial Inclusion (Credit Scores, informal loans, digital baking services)
Agricultural Productivity (Farmer produce and efficiency, supply chain)
Education (Personalized learning, scholarships)
Skills and employment (Grey collar skills training and platforms, Language courses, VET)
2 RAISING MONEY
Breaking down the last 5 years into two halves (2010-2014) and (2015), an unseen trend in startup funding emerges. In the era of 2010-2014, Indian startups raised c. $3.2 billion while in 2015 alone, Indian startups have successfully raised $4.9 billion. In 2015, 390 Indian startups raised money from 490 active investors in 2015, with 6.5 times growth in number of seed stage VC funding.
Most of the Indian startups are going the VC/PE route; a few also bootstrap and/or raise informal capital from peer-to-peer lending for seed stage, crowd-fund their seed capital, raise capital from Indian Government, raise capital from India based conglomerates (Wipro/IBM), raise capital from Indian business tycoons (Tata, Premji), raise capital from global investment ecosystem (Soft Bank, Alibaba)
As mentioned above, an exhaustive list of available funding options for Indian startups are:
Informal borrowing (Friends & Family)
High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs): Example: Tata, Premji
Impact Investors – Example: Rockefeller Foundation, Dell Foundation
Convertible debt or debenture : Example Startup Mobstac
Reinvesting profits into startup
Advance/ Pre-payment from future customers
Credit Card: Example: LaghuUdhyami Card from IDBI
Government Institutions – Example: SIDBI, NABARD and NSIC
Indian government Startup Funds: India Aspiration Fund (IAF), SIDBI SMILE, Mudra Fund, etc
Seed stage: (Less than $1 million): Example Vendantu.com
Early stage: (Less than $1.5 million): Example Flatchat, roadrunnr
Growth Stage: $5 – $20 million): Example: nearbuy
Scaling/ Expansion stage: (More than $20 million): Example: Shopclues.com
Angel Investors also gave $196 million to Indian startups in 2015.
2.1 MISMANAGEMENT OF BURN RATE
Amid the rising competition, it is essential for startups to scale-up faster, requiring external funding. Several companies prioritize raising investment over efforts for revenue generation and when fundraising is halted, startup goes into trouble. Many a time, we observe that as soon as a startup gets funded, it loses its conscious approach to the burn rate and goes haywire. Recently in 2015, startup attrition rate grew by 25%
2.2 Gestation Period, acceleration and deceleration
Indian startup ecosystem consist of two types of support institutions: a. inclusive support institute which offers open door support to any startup (Ex ample: TiE) and entrepreneur and b. exclusive support institute which offers exclusive services to only selected startups handpicked and chosen through rigorous checks. (Example: Microsoft Ventures)
If incubated, startups are offered gestation period during the physical incubation of 24 – 30 months in leading Indian incubation centers. Startup acceleration programs offer networking, one on one mentoring, growth, access to market and other assistance for average duration of 3-4 months in strictly run acceleration programs.
On the other hand, according to SnehBhavsar, CoFounder and CEO, OoWomaniya , “the influence of external organizations” that is -businesses, incubators, institutes and all such organizations which are trying to control, manage, take advantage for their events, brand or just numbers, be the daddies of the start-ups and entrepreneurs in the name of helping, mentoring etc.’
3 VARIOUS STARTUP COSTS
A snapshot of basic startup costs are listed below:
Living expenses per month (startups migrating to Bangalore/New Delhi, etc.):
India is famous for its large and affordable talent pool, especially with respect to technology. However, when looked at startup hiring, right talent acquisition becomes is not swift because of two reasons:
Most of the available talent is not employable and needs training
Best of the talent is still being attracted by MNCs
On the other hand, there is a lot of lateral movement by top management employees from big companies into startups
3.2 STARTUP INFRASTRUCTURE:
Indian startups at early stage prefer co-working spacesCoworking startup in Bangalores, (Bhive Workspace), are able to bring a lot of value-add to Indian startup culture such as mentorship programs, events, cross-platform collaboration discussion and working with some of the best peers. They also offer flexibility for usage of plug and play space with respect to hourly, daily and monthly packages of access; these coworking spaces also offer a 24/7 open dedicated workspace for startups in India, for more serious and mature startups.
Establishing one’s own office comes with a lot of additional costs involving, but not limited to support staff, refreshments, setup for Internet, electricity and many such administrative overheads – this route is not advisable for early and growth stage Indian startups.
4 AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF STARTUPS IN INDIA
From close scrutiny of startups associated with India’s startup enablers and platforms such as Construkt Festival, Nasscom Startup Warehouse, CII Yi forum, TIE Bangalore, and Microsoft Accelerator Bangalore, every 3rd Indian startup fails within first 5 years of its operations. According to iSPIRT and SignalHill analysis reveals that India has the worst multiple in terms of M&A exits.
4.1 ESTIMATED TIMELINE
Averaging a small sample of young Indian startups, the following timeline can be considered
Gestation, incorporation, Seed fund
First employees, First customers, corrections and adaption of business model
Growth, series A
Scale, Series B
With insufficient secondary data for startup break-even in India, it can be inferred
Bootstrapped startups break-even within the first 3-5 years (or shut-down)
Startups that go on to raise Series B, are assumed to break-even in 8-10 years
—- Compiled by Ity Bhatnagar- Research Analyst.
Source: NASSCOM Report: Momentous rise of the Indian startup ecosystem
Zinnov Research & Analysis, The Next Web, LeWebBlog
A PILOT STUDY ON TECHNOLOGY BASED START-UPS Centre for International Trade in Technology Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Supported by Department of Scientific & Industrial Research Government of India
 India Startup Report: http://www.slideshare.net/WorldStartupReport/india-startup-report