Sarath Shyam

2019 was an exciting year for Indian tech startups. According to research firm Tracxn, startups in the nation raised $14.5 billion in 2019, beating their previous best of $10.6 billion. Tech startups in India participated in 1,185 financing rounds — 459 of those were Series A or later rounds — from 817 investors. The same year, 128 startups in India were acquired, four got publicly listed, and nine became unicorns.

After steady growth in 2018 and 2019, expectations of Indian entrepreneurs and investors were high in 2020. However, the pandemic played spoilsport. As per the responses gathered by The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) as part of its nationwide survey ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Indian startups,’ an alarming 70 per cent of startups across the country have been impacted by COVID-19 while as many 12 per cent have had to halt operations altogether. The report also showed that 96 per cent of investors believe their investment in startups has been impacted by the pandemic.

On the other side, we also witnessed sprouting of many innovative startups across the county that leveraged the opportunities offered by the COVID-19. Many of them were developing solutions for COVID-19 applications in the areas of prevention, detection, disruption management, and operational efficiency. In this issue, we celebrate the success of those startup founders who have converted adversity into an opportunity. We present you, ’10 Most Inspiring Startup Founders in India.’

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