India to launch seed fund for tech startups

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government will initiate a seed fund for startups of Rs10 billion (US$136.3 million).
By: | January 19, 2021

This fund will provide the initial capital for growth and operations for startups and new-age ventures.  

“India is trying to create a startup ecosystem which is based on the mantra ‘of the youth, by the youth, for the youth’. For the next five years, we have a mission that our startups, unicorns emerge as global giants and lead in futuristic technologies,” said Modi. 

“Our startups should lead in futuristic technologies. If all BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries push for this, a large population would benefit from this,” he said. 

BIMSTEC is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia, home to 1.5 billion people with a combined GDP of US$3.5 trillion. BIMSTEC member states include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. 

Modi said India today is one of the biggest startup ecosystems in the world. The country has more than 41,000 startups working on different missions. There are nearly 5,700 startups in the IT sector, 3,600 in the health sector, and 1,700 in the agriculture sector, and these firms are changing the demographic character of business, according to Business Standard.  

READ: Indian startups set on recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

In 2014, there were only four startups in the unicorn club in the country. But today more than 30 ventures have crossed the $1-billion valuation mark. In fact, in 2020 – the difficult year of the coronavirus pandemic, 11 startups have joined the unicorn club, Modi said.