Exactly a year ago, India went into a nationwide lockdown in an effort to minimise the spread of COVID-19. A decision that would forever change the way we work, travel, eat, study, and live.
And, the Indian startup ecosystem has been at the forefront of bringing about this change.
In April, a NASSCOM survey stated that about 70 percent of the startups had less than three months of cash runway due to the impact of COVID-19. But, the Indian startup ecosystem fought back, and investors diversified their portfolios to support startups with small ticket-size funding rounds.
YourStory Research reveals that Indian startups raised $9.4 billion across 881 deals from around 1,476 active investors in the ecosystem — only a minor drop from 2019.
As the lockdown forced educational institutes to shut down, edtech startups ensured continuity in learning by leveraging technology to make quality education accessible to all. On the other hand, social distancing led to a rise in loneliness, depression, and pandemic-induced anxiety. And to help people cope with isolation and more, several startups and NGOs stepped in to offer easier access to mental health services.
The lockdown led to reverse migration of many workers as they lost their “big-city” jobs, especially those with blue-collar jobs. Good Samaritans and welfare organisations rose to the occasion and helped the homeless, the unemployed, and those returning to their hometowns and villages with food, water, and shelter.
The pandemic also changed one thing — perhaps, for good. The digital economy, which had been only playing a supporting role until now, became mainstream.
Sectors like healthtech, edtech, fintech, OTT, etc., grew at an accelerated pace and are now playing a far greater role in our lives.
With the pandemic-induced restrictions and increased digitisation, work from home has become the norm. This has also necessitated the need for increased collaboration between teams. Capillary Technologies CTO Pravanjan Choudhary, Honeywell SPS India CTO Ajeya Motaganahalli, Innovaccer’s Ankit Maheshwari, and Atlassian’s Dinesh Ajmera discuss how technology is shaping the remote working narrative.
Editor’s Pick: 100X Entrepreneur
For Ghazal and Varun Alagh, starting Mamaearth stemmed from addressing a personal pain point. The parents were unable to find the right kind of products for their baby and were relying on importing them from outside of India. Realising that many parents faced similar issues, they started Mamaearth in 2016, which has now crossed an annualised revenue run rate of Rs 500 crore. Read more.
COVID-19 changed how people perceive personal hygiene and health. To help people adapt to the new normal, Kavin Kumar Kandaswamy and Raja Palanisamy launched MYPPE Wellness Service Pvt Ltd (better known as MY). The safe lifestyle startup designs and manufactures UV pocket sanitisers, UV tabletop sanitisers, antiviral face masks, scarves, and overalls to protect people from the pandemic. Read more.
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Before you go, stay inspired with…
“When you enter the playground — of entrepreneurship or for that matter anything important in life — what matters is staying put in that ground. Doing whatever it takes to be in it. Surprisingly, this is highly underrated. But stay put. Stay put. Stay put..”