India is home to only 8 unicorns; China to 46

With initiatives like the Start-up India, Make-In India and other high profile investments, it might seem that the start-up ecosystem is thriving in the country. However, over the last five years – 2012 to 2017 – India’s two global hubs New Delhi and Bengaluru produced only eight unicorns, or start-ups that have a valuation of more than $1 billion.

New Delhi leads with five unicorns and tech hub Bengaluru stands at the second place with three unicorns, according to a report by CB Insights.

Compared to this the Chinese cities have performed exceeding well. Beijing produced 29 unicorns during the period, while Shanghai, the financial hub of China, is home to 17 unicorns.

Beijing boasts of Didi Chuxing, the city’s largest ride-hailing service that acquired Uber’s China unit on August 1, 2016. Moreover, it is the only company to have all of China’s three internet giants Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu as its investors.

Other Asian cities which have produced unicorns include Seoul and Tokyo with two each.

The report looks at 25 tech hubs around the world, comparing data on funding and exit routes for startups. The top tech hubs were chosen based on a deal share basis of the global total.

Most of the “heavyweight hubs” – meaning cities with stable growth startups and a higher concentration of later stage rounds – are in the US (57 unicorns) according to a survey, but half of the notably “high growth” cities are located in Asia. The latter is defined by a few characteristics, namely higher dollar investments.

Beijing startups alone brought in $72 billion in funding since 2012, second only to Silicon Valley’s $140 billion.

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