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India’s 100 unicorns valued at $333 billion

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India has added 14 unicorns so far in 2022 and the value of all its unicorns—100 in total— stands at $332.7 billion, the commerce and industry ministry said on Friday.

India added as many as 44 unicorns in 2021 alone, with a total valuation of $93 billion, it added. This was a remarkable feat, as until FY17, roughly one unicorn was being added every year, according to an official statement. Over the past four years, this number has been increasing exponentially, with a 66% year-on-year jump in the number of additional unicorns being added every year, it added.

More than 69,000 start-ups have been recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) since the government launched the Start-up India programme on January 16, 2016.

Start-ups have been recognised across 56 diverse sectors, with 13% from IT services, 9% from healthcare and life sciences, 7% education, 5% professional and commercial services, 5% agriculture and 5% food & beverages, according to the DPIIT data.

Celebrating the birth of the 100th unicorn on May 2, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal had tweeted: “India Hits A Century In Style! Bengaluru-based startup becomes country’s 100th Unicorn. India = Ideas + Innovation + Investments.” Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to liberate entrepreneurship from the complex maze of red tape, as he exhorted start-ups to “innovate for India and innovate from India”.

The Prime Minister had stressed on the raft of steps initiated by the government to make it easier for start-ups to flourish. The government has rolled out programmes such as Start-up India and Stand-up India, addressed the problem of the so-called ‘angel tax’, offered tax incentives and simplified procedures, extended official funding, allowed self-certification process for nine labour and three environment laws and scrapped more than 25,000 procedures to reduce compliance burden of start-ups. Government e-Marketplace platform is also promoting services rendered by start-ups to various ministries and departments.

The defence forces have placed orders worth Rs 500 crore to drone start-ups.

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