Delhi: The New Silicon Valley of India?

 In Features, Startups
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Whenever we mention ‘Silicon Valley’, the city of Bengaluru comes to our mind. If you ask why we might very well say that all of the innovation happens in there. Well, that is not what statistics state these days. It states that more than Bengaluru and Mumbai, Delhi-NCR is the newest hotspot that has arisen for startups and unicorns in India.

More specifically, the region that comprises the national capital and the adjoining cities of Gurugram and Noida now is home to more startups and unicorns than Bengaluru and Mumbai.

Valuation of Delhi

Currently, with 10 unicorns, the private market valuation of Delhi startups is currently $46-56 billion. This is followed by Bengaluru at about $32-37 billion, followed by Mumbai at around $10-12 billion. Few popular unicorns in Delhi are MakeMyTrip, Info Edge and Indiamart.

The pace of Indian Startups

Some experts, however, say that the pace of founding new startups have slowed down over the years, including on Delhi NCR. Few reasons like the lack of affordable co-working spaces, less number and quality of accelerators and incubators. Some startups even complain about the lack of proper technical talent and developing sector-specific policies.

As per industry experts, Delhi NCR could become one of the top 5 global startup hubs, with around 12,000 startups, 30 unicorns, and a valuation of $150 billion by 2025. 

The true potential of the city would be unlocked only when people would focus more on core areas like building three world-class affordable startup hubs. One each in Delhi, Noida, and Gurugram, somewhere close to T Hub that was set up in 2015 by the Telangana government. Experts also say that there is a need to boost seed and early-stage investments in Delhi-NCR. 

The Takeaway?

Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog kind of assured that the startup community of the government’s continued support that in setting up incubation centres in the region. He mainly talked of Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. All of these are among the top 100 startup hubs globally. Except for the US, no other country has more than 5 cities on the  list. This in turn makes India a broad based startup ecosystem.

The fact that Delhi is slowly replacing Bengaluru, and serving as the hometown to many startups is commendable indeed. And, why not, when there are 10 unicorns in the city! Delhi also houses around 7000 startups, alongside with Gurugram and Noida. Frankly speaking, Delhi NCR region comprises around 23 percent of the total startups in the country. Incidentally, with the report entitled above, the spotlight has kind of shifted to the national capital region and the region surrounding it. 

Rajan Anandan, former Google executive said that what is encouraging about the startup ecosystem in Delhi-NCR is that people have actually seen a broad varied mix. Also as a region, NCR has created at least one unicorn every year since 2013. This is pretty much unlike other regions, where the 10 unicorns in Delhi are pretty much different from each other, and they are from different sectors like that of fintech, e-commerce, logistics, food, energy, and the like.

Also, a very interesting fact about Delhi-NCR is that it is home to myriad startups. Everything from foodtech to fintech, to EVS, there is absolutely no dearth of technology. Now, what needs to be looked forward is to how much would Delhi live up to all the expectations attached.

Image Courtesy: Daily Beast

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