Indian startups: NASSCOM Tech Bytes of 2021


Despite the covid-19 pandemic, the Indian Tech industry reports growth in sequential digital revenue growth in the 3rd quarter of 2021 at 11.3% and share of digital in overall revenues at 46.9%.

India ranked 48th position in IMD 2020 World Digital Competitiveness ranking. India slips 4 positions down from 44 in 2019 to 48 in 2020 out of 63 countries. 

The IMD 2020 overall score in different sections

  • 39th place in Knowledge Readiness (talent, training & education, and scientific concentration)
  • 50th place in Technology Readiness (regulatory framework, invested capital, and technological framework), and
  • 56th place in Future Readiness (adaptive attitude, business agility, and IT integration), below the first-time ranking of 2016 that was 54.

The Indian government is easing regulatory frameworks applied to the Development and Application of Tech. The new regulations benefit the DeepTech startups.

India is doing better in the fight against Covid-19, and economic recovery is in line with expectations. Indian startups ecosystem is now starting work with the full-fledged workforce.

Here are some highlights of the Indian startup ecosystem functioning and strategy that will work in the coming year.


Key Highlights of the NASSCOM Tech Bytes of 2021

The Resilient Indian Tech Startup Ecosystem:

  • Tech startup base continues to expand steadily at 8-10%
  • Record 12 unicorns added in 2020
  • Enhanced penetration of deep-tech with 2100+ startups leveraging deep-tech
  • Investor sentiment is recovering with H2 2020 funding up by 90% over H1 2020

Leading to Acceleration of Priority Themes for India’s Digital Economy Ambition

  • Fintech: 35% of retail investors are using FinTech products and services
  • HealthTech: 2.2X growth in online consultations, adoption of innovative technology
  • Enterprise: 58% of unicorns in 2020 are B2B tech startups, Using technology such as AI, ML, Blockchain, IoT technology with a 21% contribution.
  • Edtech: 2.6X more equity investments in 2020 (vs 2019), Robust growth in the online education platform

Indian founders have strengthened their playbook to convert crisis into an opportunity

  • Remote Work – as a capability
  • •Growth at ‘affordable’ cost
  • •Think Global – sooner, than later
  • •Banyan Tree – ‘capture’ adjacencies

Other Key Trends:

  • Unicorn club and the pipeline of potential unicorns have expanded significantly
  • Investor sentiments positive- clear recovery evident in deal value and numbers
  • Corporate M&A pace and investments recovering gradually
  • Deep-tech adoption is increasing and is expected to accelerate further

CLOUD & DATACENTER: Rapid cloud adoption across verticals

  • SAP to invest ₹ 500 crores to accelerate its multi-cloud strategy in India:
    • Make multiple cloud solutions available in India datacenters
  • Yes Bank collaborating with Salesforce’s CRM software & services to build a next-gen technology platform to power the retail lending business to:
    • Provide personalized solutions and connected banking experiences for consumers
    • Drive aggressive retail-led growth
    • Process more loan applications through automation and progressive API integrations
    • Accelerated fulfillment at the point of sale itself
  • Introduced Smartflo, a cloud-based enterprise solution for hybrid connectivity between customers, employees and vendors across various platforms
  • IBM and India Grid Trust in a multi-year collaboration agreement to build an AI-enabled asset management platform
    • Deploy a hybrid cloud solution with IBM Maximo Application Suite running on IBM Cloud

eCommerce INSIGHTS

ecommerce insight Indian startups
ecommerce insight Indian startups


  • Rising convergence of traditional retail, organized brick-led retailers and eCommerce players
  • eCommerce players focus on addressing skill gaps, launch courses, programs, and collaborations for skill development
  • Retail sector witnessing a rise in sales and investment
  • The upswing in the adoption of new digital technologies like virtual queuing, contactless payments

eCommerce Examples

  • Indian e-commerce player Zomato secures USD 660mn in Series J funding
  • Indian B2B e-commerce platform Udaan raises $280 million
  • D2C brand boAt Raises $100 Mn From Warburg Pincus
  • Myntra launches digital mall feature for fashion brands to offer offline like experience
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) goes digital, launches its e-commerce portal – to tap into online market potential
  • Tata Group retail division acquires BigBasket to strengthen its online portfolio and expand to online grocery retail
  • Flipkart partners with Logistics Skill Sector Council and Karnataka Skill Development Centre to build skilled and trained workforce by establishing a Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru
  • Amazon India to launch of Future Engineer Program after the launch of Future Builder program for Indian students in November 2020.

KEY VC/PE FUNDING to Indian Tech startups

  • PhonePe, Payment Solutions $700 million
  • Glance, Content Platform $145 million
  • DailyHunt, Online News $100
  • Cred, Online Financial Services $80 million
  • Pine Labs, Payment Solutions $75 million
  • CueMath, Online Education $40
  • DealShare, Social Commerce Platform $21 million
  • Infra.Market, B2B Procurement Marketplace $20 million
  • Rivigo, Logistics $19 million
  • Pariksha,  Online Education $13 million
  • Aye Finance, Online Lending Platform $10 million

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