1,500 start-ups in Kerala bag $38 million in 2017-18, thanks to govt aid

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Kerala start-ups have received funding of $38 million in 2017-18, according to the Kerala Startup Ecosystem Report 2018.

The report, which was released on Friday, stated that the institutional funding, which stood at $9.5 million in 2014, was increased to $19.6 million in 2015. Since 2016, there has been a steady increase in the fund flow that came to $15.72 million from the first six months.

At the end of the third quarter of 2018, the number of start-ups operating in Kerala was more than 1,400, and the total funding observed in 2018 (till September) stood at $38 million (disclosed). The report also stated that the number of funded start-ups in 2017-18 was 59. 

The report attributed the increase mainly to the change in institutional funding. This had encouraged and supported the start-ups to progress. As of 2017, there were 757 tech start-ups in Kerala, with 51 per cent working on software development.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan claims the state is the first to have formulated a policy for technology start-ups back in 2014; today it has over 1,500 start-ups developing innovative products and services. Close to 40 per cent of them are product-based.

Through a host of measures, extending right from colleges to professional accelerator spaces, the state provides multiple interventions to aid curation of disruptive ideas into sustainable business ventures.

M Sivasankaran, Secretary of Electronics and Information Technology, added that over the past six months, the Kerala Startup Mission has funded over 100 ventures, with more than 50 per cent of the funding awarded to those in the ‘steady’ revenue stage at the time of investment.

“One of our core philosophies is focusing on revenue generation over attracting external investment, and this is done by encouraging start-ups in our network to address problems that have blue ocean opportunity,” he said.
Under the banner of the Kerala Startup Mission and several of its sector-specific partner organisations, there are presently 1,500-plus registered start-ups, 400,000-plus square feet of incubation space, more than 30 incubators and over 200 innovation cells — evenly distributed across various districts and cities, he added.

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