Upgrading to Big Growth: Indian Start-ups Take Deep Technology Way

Deep Tech

Deep Tech

India has made it big in 2020 by adding over 1,600 tech start-ups and a record number of 12 additional unicorns to the list

‘The number of start-ups in the country defines its growth’ is a well-known phrase of the digital era. India is one of the important countries that is taking digital transformation seriously. As the nation leaps forward to be a technological update, the Indian tech start-up ecosystem continues to witness a significant growth trajectory on the back of rapid digitisation and tech adoption. India has made it big in 2020 by adding over 1,600 tech-start-ups and a record number of twelve additional unicorns into the list.

It is a known fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the world for both good and bad. However, when it comes to technology, the lockdown has done wonders by forcing diverse industries to employ futuristic technologies in their working system. Technologies that were anticipated to streamline in 2025, made its way into the market in 2020. When such amazing changes took place, India, the nation that procrastinated digital transformation for a long time also took the challenge head-on. The nation has taken far more serious measures to make the economy hang in the right place.

Remarkably, India has made virtual reality, touchless experience and an always-ON omnipresence the new normal. For a twist, Indian start-ups used deep technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Blockchain, AR/VR, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, 3D printing, quantum computing, cloud computing, cybersecurity, etc to bridge the gap between the falling economy and disruption. Industries like manufacturing, healthcare, retail, finance, banking, etc also availed the maximum benefits from these technologies. The sudden adoption has brought to light a fact that these futuristic technologies expected to stay longer, even though the pandemic could be wiped out sooner through inoculation programs and herd immunity.

NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), in partnership with Zinnov, a global management and strategy consulting firm has launched its annual start-up report titled ‘Indian Tech Startup Ecosystem- On the March to a Trillion Dollar Digital Economy.’ Some of the key findings of the report are listed below,

  • Tech start-up base continues to expand steadily at 8-10% growth rate.
  • A record number of 12 unicorns have added to the list in 2020 alone.
  • The interest in deep technologies can be seen in the nation with more than 2,100 start-ups adopting them to enhance penetration. 
  • Investor sentiment is recovering with H2 2020 funding up by 90% over H1 2020. 
  • Potential unicorns stay strong with 1.5X growth since 2019.
  • Nearly 14% of the total investments in 2020 were in deep-tech start-ups, up from 11% in 2019.
  • Further, 87% of all deep-tech investments were in Artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Deep-tech and new start-up hubs will continue to grow at 40-45% CAGR. While the investments in 2020 were significantly lower than in 2019, recovery in deal pace and investments is expected to return to 2019 levels, if not exceeded in 2021. 
  • Fintech, healthcare, Edtech, agritech, and enterprise-tech sectors witnessed rapid digital adoption.
  • Over 60 corporates invested in start-ups, with 55% of open innovation programs operated by global MNCs. 

Despite having a big jump in the number of start-ups, the Indian government has made efforts and is still taking steps to enhance tech initiatives. In recent years, the Narendra Modi led government of India has been focusing more and more on a wide universe of emerging start-ups and schemes that could accelerate the growth. One such effort is ‘Startup India’ that promotes and assists entrepreneurship by mentoring, nurturing and facilitating start-ups throughout their life cycle.

 To upgrade the people of India to digital trends and make all the government services accessible electronically, the Indian government has launched ‘Digital India’ program. The initiative helps build India as a digitally-empowered society and knowledge economy with universal access to goods and services. In the 2015 budget, the Indian government has announced the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to create a promotional platform involving academicians and draw upon national and international experiences to foster a culture of innovation, research, and development.