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Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah
Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd, the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.
The Tracxn findings come amidst Government of India seeking to give a major boost to startups in new and emerging technologies, quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanting to especially encourage them in Tier 2 and 3 cities. A Tech startup is defined as “a company whose purpose is to bring technology products or services to market. These companies deliver new technology products or services or deliver existing Technology products or services in new ways.”
Coming to individual states, the report said, “Total funding into Telangana Tech startups fell 78% to $99.2 million in 2023, from $459 million in 2022”, adding, “Seed-stage funding in 2023 stood at $14.1 million, an 82% decline compared with $78.4 million raised in the previous year. Early-stage funding fell 71% to $80.1 million in 2023. This space attracted late-stage investments worth $5 million in 2023, a massive decline of 95% from the $101 million raised in 2022.”
In a further breakup, it said, “The Aerospace, Maritime and Defense Tech sector secured total funding of $35.8 million, a decrease of 38% when compared with the amount raised in 2022. EdTech companies based attracted investments worth $33 million in 2023, which is an increase of 65% in total funding compared with 2022. The Enterprise Applications sector attracted investments worth $19.4 million, a plummet of 91% when compared with 2022.’
The Maharashtra report said, “Total funding into Maharashtra Tech startups fell 62.5% to $2.1 billion in 2023, from $5.6 billion in 2022”. Offering a breakup, it noted, “sector attracted seed-stage investments worth $108 million in 2023, a 73% decline compared with the $404 million raised in 2022”, adding, “Early-stage funding fell 70% to $415 million in 2023 from $1.4 billion raised in 2022. Late-stage funding in 2023 stood at $1.6 billion, a 59% drop compared with $3.8 billion raised in 2022.”
A further breakup showed, “The Retail sector witnessed a total funding of $483 million, a drop of 65% compared with the previous year. HealthTech companies based attracted total funding of $464 million in 2023, a growth of 14% from 2022. The Transportation and Logistics Tech sector in 2023 secured funding worth $453 million in 2023, which is a drop of 59% when compared with 2022.”
The Delhi NCR report said, the state’s “Tech startups fell 61% to $1.5 billion in 2023, from $3.8 billion in 2022”, regretting, this was the “lowest funding observed in this space in the last 10 years”. It added, “Seed-stage investments stood at $166 million, a decline of 51% when compared with the $342 million raised in 2022. Companies in this space secured early-stage funding worth $454 million in 2023, a 71% plunge from the $1.6 billion raised in 2022. A drop of 55% was observed in late-stage funding, from $1.9 billion in 2022 to $842 million in 2023.”
It further said, “Companies in the Retail space attracted investments worth $797 million in 2023, which is a 50% decrease compared with 2022. Funding into the Enterprise Applications segment stood at $273 million in 2023, a decline of 72% in funding compared with 2022. The FinTech sector secured total funding of $186 million in 2023, which is a plummet of 79% in funding compared to 2022, and an 84% drop in funding compared to 2021.”
Coming to Gujarat, considered by the Modi establishment a model state for industrial investment for other states to follow, the state report said, total funding into Gujarat Tech startups fell 66% to $139 million in 2023, from $412 million in 2022”. While calling Gujarat “among the best-performing states for providing a supportive environment for startups”, the report blamed the Gujarat decline on “global macroeconomic climate driven by tense geopolitical relation”, insisting, Gujarat was “the best performer in 2022 for the fourth consecutive year.”
But it regretted, even though seed-stage funding in 2023 stood at $38 million, an increase of 28% compared with $29 million raised in 2022, “Early-stage investments fell 27% to $66 million from $91 million in 2022”, adding, “Companies in this space attracted late-stage funding worth $34 million in 2023, a decline of 88% from $290 million in 2022.” 
The Tracxn findings come amidst Government of India seeking to give a major boost to startups in new and emerging technologies
The sharp fall in Gujarat took place despite the fact that “companies in the Transportation and Logistics sector in 2023 secured a total funding of $65 million, which is a 160% spike from the amount raised in 2022”, and Environment Tech companies based in Gujarat raised $64 million in 2023, a jump of 191% compared with 2022”, the report asserted. 

 The Tamil Nadu report said, the funding in the state’s Tech startups fell 85% to $255 million in 2023, from $1.7 billion, pointing out, “Seed-stage funding stood at $32.6 million, a decline of 47% compared with $61.6 million raised in 2022. Early-stage rounds fell 86% to $77 million in 2023 from $567 million in 2022. Companies in this space attracted late-stage funding worth $145 million in 2023, a drop of 87% compared with $1.1 billion raised in 2022.”
It added, “Companies in the Transportation & Logistics Tech space raised $160 million in 2023, a drop of 69% when compared with $511 million raised in 2022. The Environment Tech sector attracted investments worth $151 million in 2023, a drop of 70% from $501 million raised during the previous year. Funding into the Auto Tech space fell to $150 million in 2023 from $558 million in 2022.”
The Karnataka report said, the total funding into the state’s Tech startups fell 72% to $3.4 billion in 2023, from $12.2 billion in 2022, even though the Karnataka Tech startup ecosystem holds the first position in India in terms of overall funding to date and in 2023.
Pointing out that “Karnataka was the first state to introduce a dedicated Startup Policy in 2015, and as per the Economic Survey of Karnataka (2022-2023), the state has a per-capita income of Rs 3.01 lakh, the highest in India”, the report noted, companies in the Tech startup space “attracted late-stage investments worth $2.3 billion in 2023, a 74% decline compared with $8.9 billion in 2022. Early-stage funding in 2023 stood at $784 million in funding, a drop of 71% from the $2.7 billion raised during the previous year. Seed-stage funding fell 54% to $294 million from the $643 million raised in 2022.”
A further breakup showed that “the FinTech sector in Karnataka secured a total funding of $1.15 billion in 2023, a decline of 51% compared with $2.4 billion raised during the previous year.‍ The Retail sector witnessed total funding of $956 million in 2023, a decline of 56% compared with the $2.16 billion raised in 2022. Companies in the Enterprise Applications sector attracted investments worth $928 million in 2023, a plummet of 68% from the $2.89 billion raised in 2022.”
Revealing that Kerala was the only state in 2023 where Tech startups funding rose, albeit by15%, to $33.2 million in 2023, from $28.9 million in 2022, the report said, “Seed-stage funding accounted for 78% of the total funding raised during the year. This space attracted seed-stage investments worth $26.2 million in 2023, a surge of 40% when compared with the $18.7 million raised during the previous year. Early-stage funding fell 32% to $7 million in 2023 from $10.3 million in 2022. The Kerala startup ecosystem has not recorded any late-stage funding in the last five years.”
A further breakup in Kerala Tech startup funding showed that “the Food & Agriculture Tech sector saw a 266% spike in funding to $7.4 million in 2023 from $2.0 million in 2022. The Retail sector secured total funding of $3.9 million in 2023, while the sector witnessed only $1.12 million in 2022. The EdTech sector saw a funding of $3.47 million in 2023 which is 52% less than the same period in 2022 which had $7.2M in funding.”

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