Delhi-NCR is home to over 7,000 start-ups and 10 unicorns with these new businesses having a cumulative valuation of about $50 billion, ahead of cities such as Bengaluru and Mumbai, according to a report released by TiE-Delhi-NCR and Zinnov on Tuesday.
The report, titled 'Turbocharging Delhi-NCR Start-up Ecosystem', stated that Delhi-NCR accounted for a 23% share of start-ups in the country. While there were 7,039 start-ups in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru had 5,234, Mumbai 3,829 and Hyderabad 1,940. These new companies were founded between 2009 and 2019.
Within Delhi-NCR, Delhi accounted for 4,491 start-ups, Gurgaon 1,544 and Noida 1,004 new businesses.
The report highlighted that Delhi-NCR has 10 unicorns - companies with valuation of over $1 billion - compared with 9 in Bengaluru, 2 each in Mumbai and Pune and 1 in Chennai.
With appropriate interventions, Delhi-NCR can become one of the top 5 global start-up hubs and could have over 12,000 active technology start-ups, 30 unicorns and account for cumulative valuations of more than $150 billion, it added.
"What's encouraging about the ecosystem in Delhi-NCR is that we actually have a very broad varied mix… As a region, NCR has created at least one unicorn every year since 2013… And unlike other regions, the 10 unicorns that we have, they're not from one particular sector, they are from fin-tech, e-commerce, logistics, food, energy and so on," TiE Delhi-NCR president Rajan Anandan said at an event.
That is actually a competitive advantage that the National Capital Region (NCR) has and needs to be built on further, he added.
The region also accounts for over 50% of cumulative valuation of the Indian start-up ecosystem at $46-56 billion, compared with $32-37 billion for Bengaluru and $10-12 billion for Mumbai.
Also, five of the top 10 most-valued start-ups in India are based in Delhi-NCR (such as OYO Rooms, Paytm and Hike).
However, like other parts of the country, the pace of new start-ups being founded in Delhi-NCR has slowed down in the past two years.
According to the report, 1,361 start-ups in Delhi-NCR and a total of 5,875 start-ups were founded in India in 2016. The number of start-ups being founded in Delhi-NCR stood at 826 (2017), 420 (2018) and 142 in the first half of 2019.
A total of 3,478 start-ups were set up in India in 2017, 2,036 (2018) and 800 in the first half of 2019, it added.
Anandan said access to funding across all stages need to be improved, and base of active angel investors in Delhi-NCR should be increased.
Also, there is a critical need to increase affordable co-working spaces in Delhi-NCR. Start-ups shell out around Rs 9,500-Rs 13,500 per desk a month at co-working spaces, a huge cost for fledgling businesses.
The report recommended setting up of centres of excellence and spaces on the lines of T-Hub in Hyderabad to help start-ups continue to innovate and grow their operations. Also, quality of accelerators and incubators, developing deeper pools of technical talent and developing sector-specific policies will help in further strengthening the region’s position as a start-up hub.
NITI Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant, who released the report, said vibrant hubs need to be created in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida that can be catalysts and agents of change. He also assured that the government will continue to support setting up of incubation centres in the region to help the start-up ecosystem.
Kant highlighted that six Indian cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune - are among the top-100 start-up hubs globally.
"Except the US, no other country has more than five cities in the list, making India truly a broad-based start-up ecosystem," he added.