CIO Insider

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The Hardest Times are Behind Us!

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Sujith Vasudevan, Managing Editor

The year 2020 hasn’t been even remotely kind to the startup ecosystem. From work from home paradigm to cash management and constantly changing market behaviors, the challenges mounted up against the startup companies over the past 10 months have been humongous. As per reports, it’s not only that around 40 percent of startups were hit, but 15 percent among them were forced to shut-down.

Reports also say that the Indian startups on an average fired 22 percent of their total employees during this time - a fact that adds drastically to the

woes. If the catastrophic impact of the pandemic was not bad enough, India’s rising geopolitical tensions with China made the survival almost impossible for them. But then again, tech-startups put up an inspiring fight with many of them, especially edtechs and digital transformation providers, even pressing the accelerator pedal. We also had four unicorns amidst the pandemic.

It’s also important to note that a large queue of IPO aspirants like PhonePe, Mobikwik, Zomato, and Byju’s was also formed during the same epoch, while the companies like Happiest Minds already made stellar IPO debuts. It’s a great omen. Furthermore, Indian startups funding in Q3 2020 was around $2.8 billion across 261 funding deals, which manifests a 167 percent surge compared to the previous quarter. Surely, the worst times are behind us.

Now it’s of paramount importance that the startups get ready for the post pandemic scenario. It's a sure bet that it won't be a walk in the park, but if they tackle the cash flow challenges and tune their business strategies to long-term sustainability, revival of the ecosystem is well on. The timely interventions of the Reserve Bank of India by bringing startups under priority lending sector and the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade by scrapping taxes on various kinds of investments are also aiding the ecosystem significantly. In this issue of Startups of the Year - 2020, we are shedding light one on a few of the startups that have future-proofed their deliverables by manifesting great competitiveness and grown exponentially in 2020.

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