Bengaluru: Data from startup data platform Traxon shows that the Karnataka capital is home to 1,783 women-led startups, followed by Mumbai and Delhi with 1,480 and 1,195 respectively. Noida, Kolkata and Ahmedabad stood at eighth, ninth and tenth positions with 324, 184 and 181 women-led startups respectively.
With over 61,400 startups, India’s startup ecosystem has added more firepower to become the third largest hub globally after the US and China. Bengaluru has been one of the top startup ecosystems in India which coupled with favorable policy has stimulated risk taking among entrepreneurs. framework. But the gender divide is still stark. Several initiatives, including incubation programs, grants, and fellowships offered to women-founded startups, are trying to address the gender gap.
For example, Karnataka is the first state in the country to provide a grant-in-aid of Rs 50 lakh to encourage innovators who require early-stage funding for their startup without taking equity in return. The program has highlighted women entrepreneurs, resulting in 30% of winners being female founders.
Traxon counts Zomato, Byju’s, OffBusiness, Upstox, Lenskart and Open among the top 10 women-led startups in the country. The funding scenario for women-led companies saw a significant increase in the number of rounds, from 171 in 2014 to 460 in 2022. However, in 2023, the number of rounds will be reduced to 185. Funding for women-led startups has declined from 183 startups in 2014 to just 7 startups this year.
Data shows that from 2008 to 2018, the number of women-led unicorns was 14. Bengaluru-based neobank Open, which became the 100th unicorn, also has two women co-founders – its COO Mabel Chacko and CFO Dina Jacob. Nykaa, Mamaearth, Hasura, Pristine Care, OffBusiness, MobiKwik, The Good Glam Group and Livspace are other Indian unicorns with at least one female co-founder.