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Why Bengaluru will always remain India’s startup capital

Bengaluru Vidhan sabha…Image source: Flickr

Bengaluru, the famous southern city has always been referred as India’ silicon-valley and startup capital. But recently Bengaluru made headlines for a political controversy that became the national talking point. This controversy revolving around whether Muslim students should be allowed to wear hijab caught everyone’s attention including Bengaluru’s very own startup industry.

Now no prominent figure from the startup industry came forward to give his or views on this sensitive issues. The only prominent business personality that did speak was Biocon Chairman Kiran Mazumdar. Although Bengaluru’s startup industry chose to remain silent, unconfirmed media reports claim that many in the startup industry were unhappy about this incident. As such Bengaluru startup have already been relentlessly complaining about the city’s depleting infrastructure.

Now coming to back to the political controversy, this controversy has erupted at a time when a recently published economic survey claimed that Delhi has overtaken Bengaluru in attracting most number of startups during the last two years. This economic survey conducted by the Indian government claimed that Delhi added little over 5,000 startups while Bengaluru added marginally less 4,514 startups during 2019-20.

As soon as this survey was published in media, there were tsunami of media reports that claimed that Delhi has replaced Bengaluru as the new startup capital of India. Some media reports even went further and claimed that Bengaluru will officially lose the tag of startup capital in matter of few years. So is there any truth to these media reports. Will Bengaluru eventually lose the tag of being India’s startup capital?

Well, we’ll talk about the hijab controversy at end of this story.  But as for the question whether Bengaluru will soon lose its startup capital tag then the answer is resounding ‘no.’ We strongly believe that Bengaluru will always remain India’s startup capital. Our argument is backed by 5 strong convincing reasons. Without wasting any further time, let us check out these 5 reasons.

Reason 1:

Bengaluru dominates when it comes to attracting startup funding

Now Delhi’s surrounding region like Noida and Gurugram may have added more startups in last two years but Bengaluru takes pole position when it comes to attracting startup funding. In fact, Bengaluru startups are not only miles ahead of Delhi but also all other Indian cities in attracting VC and private equity fundings. This includes seed funding, angle funding as well as big ticket size funding like Series A, Series B, Series C so and so forth.

To get an idea about Bengaluru’s funding clout, one simply needs to check out the huge number of unicorns that this city produces every year. For Instance, India produced record-breaking 44 unicorns last year, out which Bengaluru alone contributed nearly 50% to this tally.

Some of the Bengaluru based startups that joined the unicorn list last year included Digit Insurance, Meesho, Cred, Groww, Sharechat, BlackBuck, Zetwerk and Mobile Premier League. Last year each of these startups raised massive funding, surpassing their valuation beyond $1 Bn.

Apart from Unicorns, Bengaluru is home to many high-profile startups that have set new benchmarks in raising big ticket fundings. This includes the like of Byju’s, Swiggy, Ola, Unacademy and Flipkart.

Talking specifically about Byju’s and Unacademy, these two Bengaluru based edtech players alone raised whopping $1.44 Bn last year, accounting for almost 76% of the total funding  received by the edtech industry in 2021.

Reason 2

Bengaluru has a huge resource of tech talent:

Given that today’s startups are completely driven by modern technology they need easy access to a robust and highly talented tech professionals. And Bengaluru is one city in India where you can bet your money to find the best tech professionals for your startups. This city is home to millions of software developers, software engineers, app developers, software testers and all types of tech professionals that you can think of. Thanks to such huge presence of tech professionals and tech community, startups that are based in Bengaluru are easily able to thrive and grow their business.

Although it is not only about the numbers, Bengaluru is also miles ahead of other cities in providing quality tech professionals. It is largely due to quality and highly skilled tech professionals that Bengaluru became India’s IT capital in the first place.

Reason 3 

Bengaluru city is well integrated with global tech industry  

Taking advantage of its reputation as silicon-valley of India, Bengaluru has always been well integrated with the global tech industry, more so with America’s Silicon Valley. Now this invariably gives a great advantage to Bengaluru based startups as they get unprecedented exposure to the global tech industry. This exposure opens up opportunities for collaboration, joint venture and even getting funds from international VC industry and so many other countless things.

It is important to remember that today if you want your startup to thrive in today’s world, it has to reside in a region that is seamlessly integrated with the global economy. And which Indian city can serve your startup on this critical front better than Bengaluru, which has always been the symbol of India’s proud achievement in global IT and technology industry.

Reason 4   

Bengaluru is the most preferred destination for Deep-tech startups

Again by the virtue of being the IT and technology hub, Bengaluru is by far the most sought-after destination for starting deep tech startups. deep tech startups are actually those startups that seek to leverage emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Big data and Data science. Now according to Tracxn, as of 2022 Bengaluru has nearly 900-1000 AI startups whereas Noida has only 112 AI startups while Gurugram has nearly 180-200 AI startups.

We’d also like to draw your attention to a recent survey conducted by research firm Startup Genome. According to this survey, today Bengaluru is home to over 400 global R&D centers and Karnataka is the world’s fourth largest technology and innovation cluster.

This fact again underscores why Bengaluru is the most preferred destination for starting deep-tech startups.

Reason 5

Bengaluru’s vibrant and infectious startup culture

Being a preferred destination for startup for over a decade, Bengaluru has developed a lively and dynamic startup culture. This startup culture is very much palpable and can be easily felt in certain areas of Bengaluru like Koramangala, Indiranagar, Marathahalli and Whitefield. These areas have literally become thriving hub for startups.

Thanks to this startup culture, the Bengaluru city always witnessed animated discussions about startup ideas, startup problems, funding ideas and every other important thing dealing with startups. Most of these discussions take place through countless startup summits, conferences, meet-ups that take place almost every month in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru also presents a platform for networking opportunities to startup entrepreneurs. With so many startup founders, co-founders as well as VC investors living in one place, Bengaluru is a place that is literally brimming with endless networking opportunity.

To sum it up, Bengaluru’s startup culture is simply infectious. Today probably no other Indian city can anywhere close in replicating the amazing startup culture of Bengaluru.


On a concluding note, we’d like to conclude that despite many problems including the infrastructure problems, Bengaluru still has lot to offer to startups. With reference to the recent economic survey, we’d like to say that mere number of registered startups in given period of time cannot be used as a decisive yardstick. As we’ve seen in this story, in all other critical yardsticks Bengaluru completely outranks its peers.

As for the recent hijab controversy, we sincerely hope that in future Bengaluru will be kept from away from such communal issues. Karnataka government and other concerned stakeholder should very well know that political stability is very important for the long-term growth of startup industry.

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