When I launched YourStory in 2008, startups were unknown.
As a community, startups were crouched in the shadows behind famous Indian tech companies, not yet considered contributors to the economy.
The determination and relentless restlessness of those early founders, however, demanded attention. I knew their stories needed to be told, to be heard.
Fourteen years and more than 120,000 stories since, what greater validation could we have as a community than Prime Minister Narendra Modi declares today, January 16, National Startup Day.
For the record, the Indian government on January 16, 2016 launched the green flag of the Startup India flagship initiative, which aims to catalyze startup culture and create a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India.
However, the timing of validation in early 2022 has its own significance on the back of a 2021 bumper that saw India’s Startup Inc record-breaking performance on multiple fronts; from the highest annual Fund raising to the tech startup initial public offerings (IPOS), and from the record evolution of 44 unicorn startups to startups spending more than $220 million (Rs 1,648.6 crore) by redeeming Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) during 2021.
According to Your story Research, on the fundraising front, 2021 saw more than 1,400 financing agreements totaling more than $32 billion in fundraising.
the number of transactions of 1,407 in 2021 is the best since 2015, beating 2016’s transaction count by 1,016. On the funding value front, 2021’s $32.05 billion saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.28% over seven years compared to $8.3 billion in fundraising in 2015.
In absolute terms, if we looked at average fundraising of $10.02 billion over six years, from 2015 to 2020, record fundraising of $32.05 billion in 2021 is 3.2 times higher than the six-year average fundraising.
Getting back to the celebration zone, it takes time, sometimes even a decade, for a trip to gain recognition and become mainstream, but you have to persevere. Every day. Believe, though few believe.