How Bengaluru Became India’s Start-up Hub

Everyone wants to be at the place where action is, and that is Bengaluru in India.


From being the IT capital of India to the world’s fastest-growing tech hub, Bengaluru wears several feathers in its cap. Popularly known as the Silicon Valley of Asia, Bengaluru has been a womb to some of the biggest start-ups in the country. Starting its journey as an IT hub, Bengaluru today is India’s unicorn capital giving birth to as many as eight unicorns out of total 21 in India.

Why do unicorns grow in Bengaluru? 

Why is Bengaluru the first choice of an entrepreneur? The answer is simple: Because that’s where the nurturing ecosystem is. You discover talent, connect with investors, hire from multinational R&D centres and large IT service companies and learn from peer start-ups. All this makes Bangalore India’s most attractive city for leading start-ups.

All the eight unicorns that emerged from Bengaluru, including Flipkart, Byju’s, Ola, Swiggy, Bigbasket and Udaan, took advantage of its IT ecosystem and flared. 

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Starting its journey as an IT hub, Bengaluru today is India’s unicorn capital giving birth to as many as eight unicorns out of total 21 in India.

The Evolution of Startup Ecosystem in Bengaluru

Everyone wants to be at the place where action is, and that is Bengaluru in India. Bengaluru started up early as the city evolved as a hub for public sector industries with manufacturing giants like The Hindustan Aeronautics and Bharat Heavy Electronics, placing their headquarters in Bengaluru. Because of this concentration of technical and scientific manpower, the city witnessed the IT revolution in the early 2000. The benefits of its infrastructure and abundance of resources caused a snowball effect with global titans like Amazon and Uber following the suit and placing their headquarters in the city.

As it started hosting some of the biggest R&D centres in the country, educational institutions played a vital role giving rise to tech expertise. Then came the boom of start-ups with the ‘Start-up India’ initiative in 2016, which was indeed a game changer, coupled with Make in India, Karnataka Startup Policy and Digital India. That year alone, there were 2,34,000 start-up registrations and rest is history.

As majority of the start-ups are technology-based, Bengaluru served the best in the class with emergence of startups across industries such as fintech, edtech and healthtech start-ups. Venture Capital investment, both Indian and foreign, soared in the city and has been rising since then. Apart from ideas, talent (home to some of the most coveted universities), investments, Bengaluru is rife with accelerators and incubators to aid entrepreneurs. Initiatives like Microsoft Accelerator, 10,000 startups by Nasscom, TLabs, Walmart Labs and partnerships with corporates have ensured that Bengaluru’s ecosystem remains conducive to start-up business development. 

Contribution to India’s Unicorn List

The city contributes to India’s unicorn list by adding unicorns worth $29 billion in total, while Gurugram and Noida contribute by $19 billion each with a total six and two unicorns, respectively.

The Bengaluru startup ecosystem has seen the launch of over 11,000 start-ups and has managed to attract a total venture capital inflow worth $28 billion (between 2014 and first half of 2020), the highest among any other start-up hub in India. It is home to India’s first billion-dollar-plus start-up and continues to dominate the Indian start-up ecosystem in terms of facilitating innovative start-ups in tech-intensive fields such as AI/ML, E-mobility, IoT and others.

Naina Sood
Naina Sood
Naina was former staff at Dutch Uncles, she writes on business-life-cycle, funding, small businesses and start-ups.

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