India has emerged as the 3rd largest ecosystem for startups globally with over 62,200 DPIIT-recognized startups across 636 districts of the country as of January 2022. India is home to 85 unicorns with a total valuation of $ 87.89 Bn. Out of the total number of unicorns, 44 unicorns with a total valuation of $ 90.67 billion were born in 2021 and 4 unicorns with a total valuation of $ 4.72 billion were born in 2022, and we are only one month in!  

Since the initiation of the Startup India Initiative in 2015, India has been on the trajectory of rapid business growth led by our capable entrepreneurs. The rapid success achieved in the short period since the launch of the initiative speaks volumes of the entrepreneurial might of Indians. When given a lucrative incentive, the might has been put on display for the world.

Startups offer immense economic benefits for the economy, leading innovation and creating new job opportunities as opposed to recycling jobs caused by job changes, retirements, or brain drain. Startups are known to create whole new industries in economies, evident from the fact that the social media industry, projected to grow at a CAGR of 25.38 per cent to reach a market size of $ 939.679 billion by the year 2026, began with a young entrepreneur’s ambitious startup.

In the budget of 2022, the government has made a conscious effort to take this entrepreneurial journey forward through a variety of initiatives. This time around, the extensive startup network of the country is being strategically used for furthering other developmental schemes as well. 

A fund with blended capital, raised under the co-investment model, will be facilitated through NABARD. This is to finance startups for agriculture & rural enterprise, relevant for farm produce value chain. The activities for these startups will include, inter alia, support for FPOs, machinery for farmers on a rental basis at farm level, and technology including IT-based support. There are 1,338 AgriTech startups in India as of December 2021 and these startups will play an important role in revolutionising Indian agriculture in the near future.

Further, startups will be promoted to facilitate ‘Drone Shakti’ through varied applications and for Drone-As-A-Service (DrAAS). In select ITIs, in all states, the required courses for skilling will be started. Drones have multidimensional uses ranging from agriculture to defence and India has seen several promising startups in the domain. Further promotion of such startups will lead to the development of robust drone industry in the country.

Defence R&D will be opened up for the industry, including startups, with 25 per cent of the defence R&D budget earmarked. Private industry will be encouraged to take up the design and development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with DRDO and other organizations through the SPV model. An independent nodal umbrella body will be set up for meeting wide-ranging testing and certification requirements. Startups of India have shown enthusiasm for entering into diverse fields and opening up of defence will open up a whole new set of opportunities for entrepreneurs. 

We are India's national investment facilitation agency.


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