Hyderabad: The investment flow to the startups has been increasing in the State. This year, despite the Covid impact, startups have secured funding worth $886 million (about 6,550 crore) compared to $371 million (about Rs 2,767 crore) in 2020 and $313 million (about Rs 2,316 crore) in 2019. The investment inflow increase is about 138 per cent on a year-on-year basis, said IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao.
Speaking at the Venture Capital Conference at the Indian School of Business, the Minister said T-Hub was conceived soon after the formation of Telangana to nurture an ecosystem for startups. T-Hub 2.0, which will be India’s largest incubator spanning 3.3 lakh sqft, is nearing completion and will be launched in a couple of months. Among others, it will have a dedicated space for venture capitalists. This is being considered to make them work closely with the startup ecosystem and increase the possibility of the startups here getting funded. A fund-of-fund too is in the works.
Even though new technologies are making physical offices less relevant, venture funds having their physical offices in Telangana will galvanise the startup community to win the trust of investors. As of December this year, there are 57 incubators and 70 co-working spaces compared to just one incubator and co-working space back in 2015. The startups’ numbers also increased to 6,600 from just 400, Rama Rao said .
Hyderabad is not left behind in the valuation race. It has seen four unicorns or startups valued at over $1 billion (about Rs 7,400 crore). They include Zenoti, High Radius, Game Site and Greenko. These apart, there are at least 25 soonicorns, he said. While Telangana will make all efforts to attract the venture funds to set up operations here, it will be within the regulatory frameworks and will not encourage the State to be used as a tax haven.
On the focus areas for the State, Rama Rao said it is riveted on emerging technologies like mobility and drone tech. “Mobility has a lot of promise. We are working with startups and automotive companies such as OLA, Hyundai, ZF, Chrysler and others. We are building something unique in this segment. Next, drone technology is promising. Telangana is the first State to have come up with a Drone Policy. We are now using drones to deliver vaccines and blood to remote areas. The same technology can also be used for organ transportation in the future,” he said. “We will focus on our strengths and not venture into all areas,” he added.