“Karnataka has a vision to be a leading global destination for startups and cutting-edge technology solutions. The government is committed to further strengthening the incubation and acceleration infrastructure across the state to support the development of innovative solutions.”
Bengaluru, Karnataka’s capital, is a magnet for entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. The city has been described as the world’s fastest-growing tech hub and is home to the R&D centers of some of the world’s most famous tech companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. Unicorns born in Karnataka include Byju's, Zerodha, Cred, PhonePe, Flipkart and Big Basket. The state government has ambitious plans to double the number of startups through various initiatives. Bengaluru’s population is expected to grow by more than 6% in 2023, projected to be the fastest growing city in the Asia-Pacific region.
Data from Inc42 shows Bengaluru-based startups raised $11 billion in 2022. Research from Dealroom showed that Bengaluru was the leading Asian city and fifth ranked hub in the world for tech VC investment in 2022. In 2022, Karnataka attracted $21.5 billion in foreign direct investment, more than half of the total amount for the entire country.
In November 2022, Google signed a MoU with the Karnataka government to provide training and mentorship programs to startups, job seekers, and children. It will work with Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS) to train women-led startups. Google will also provide scholarships for its Career Certification program. In February 2023, tech company Aptiv announced the opening of a new $14 million technical center in Bengaluru. Also in February, manufacturing firm Ducab Group set up an office here. Logiy Spaces has partnered with AA Holdings to develop a 1 million square foot industrial and logistics park in Karnataka. Samsung R&D Institute Bengaluru and Samsung R&D Institute Noida launched a startup incubation program in February 2023.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
The state is on track to produce 50 Fintech unicorns by 2030, according to the KDEM’s FinTech Task Force. KDEM is advocating for the creation of a dedicated Fintech policy for the state, as well as supporting the creation of the Karnataka Centre of FinTech Excellence and the Karnataka FinTech StartUp Innovation Corpus. Razorpay acquired offline POS company Ezetap for $200 million in August 2022. Personal-loan platform KreditBee raised a $120 million Series D in January 2023.
Karnataka is home to approximately 60% of India’s Biotech companies, employing about 54% of the country’s biotech workforce. The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) has supported more than 350 startups, many in Life Sciences Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre further supports the ecosystem and academia. Digital healthcare platform Mfine was acquired by LifeCell International for $80 million in July 2022. Diagnostics service Orange Health Labs raised a $23.3 million Series B in June 2022.
Electric vehicle (EV) startups in India raised $1.7 billion in 2022, a jump of 117% from 2021. In June 2022, the Karnataka government launched EV-awareness portal EV Jagruthi. BorgWarner opened a technical center in December 2022 and set up the India Electric Propulsion Engineering Centre in January 2023 to develop EV-specific products. EV-focused Fintech startup Turno raised a $18.8 million Series A in February 2023. Electric scooter company Ather Energy raised a $49 million Series E in October 2022.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Bengaluru-Karnataka
Established Tech Scene
Bengaluru-Karnataka is home to a vast number of IT companies, tech talent, and startup support initiatives.. Karnataka hosts 44% of India’s R&D centers, including Google’s first AI-focused center and Intel’s largest 5G technology design center. In February 2023, the Karnataka government announced plans for a new startup park near Bengaluru.
As of February 2022, Bengaluru was home to 1.5 million workers — a quarter of India's digital talent and far more than any other Indian city. Bengaluruis also home to a number of internationally recognised higher education and research institutes, including the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru.
The Karnataka Startup Policy 2022–27 supports funding for startups, gives special emphasis to women-led startups and envisions establishing 50 innovation centers, technology business incubators, a Centre of Excellence for Rural Innovation and Assistive Technology, and a Resource Centre for Circular Economy startups. The Idea2PoC Grant-In-Aid Scheme offers seed funding to early-stage startups and has already supported 721+ startups so far.
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
Karnataka Innovation & Technology Society (KITS)
KITS is the Government of Karnataka’s Nodal Agency to promote the state’s startup ecosystem and is responsible for facilitating implementation of various schemes, programs, interventions of the policy and any new initiatives required for the growth of the startup ecosystem in the State. KITS is working closely with academia, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM), and industry to accelerate growth and investments in the field of electronics, IT, BT, and S&T sectors in Karnataka.
Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM)
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