MAKERS India launches 'State of Women in Tech Entrepreneurship' report at YourStory's TechSparks 2020

MAKERS India's 'State of Women in Tech Entrepreneurship' report, launched at YourStory's TechSparks 2020, reveals that the number of women in tech surged 11X from January 2018 to June 2020, but funding raised was a paltry 1.43 percent.
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MAKERS India’s first-ever report, State of Women in Tech Entrepreneurship in India, was released at TechSparks 2020. The report, which presents a detailed overview of the state of women in tech entrepreneurship after analysing data from January 2018 to June 2020, also showcases investor sentiment towards female-founded and co-founded startups for the period.

The report reveals that while there has been a substantial increase in the number of women entrepreneurs in tech since 2010 (11X), the total funding raised by women-led tech startups remains minuscule (just 1.43 percent between January 2018 and June 2020).

Between January 2018 and June 2020, funding raised by startups with at least one woman founder accounted for only 5.77 percent ($1.69 billion) across 378 deals of the total funding while female-founded startups received only 1.43 percent ($480 million) across 80 deals.

Amidst COVID-19, early-stage funding deals for startups led by at least one woman founder increased by 8.16 percent while growth-stage deals reduced by 54 percent.

Other key findings revealed by the report include:

  • Female-founded and co-founded tech startups in India stand at 285 now.
  • Fintech and fin-serv are sectors that raised the highest amount in funding and saw the most number of deals by women entrepreneurs.
  • The exit percentage for startups led by at least one women founder (3.5 percent) is slightly higher than startups led by only male founders (2.01 percent) in tech.

MAKERS India, a digital media platform focusing on Indian women achievers, unveiled the report at the 11th edition of YourStory’s annual flagship event, held on October 26-30. Launched in October 2019, MAKERS India is a joint venture between YourStory Media and Verizon Group, and recently completed one year. 

Nikhil Rungta, Country Manager, Verizon Media, in a fireside conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, highlighted the pressing need to tackle the investment diversity gap in the Indian startup ecosystem.

“Although the number of women-founded and co-founded startups are on the increase, investors are still sceptical about investing in women tech entrepreneurs,” he said.

The report suggests that of the 2,460 investors who participated in total startup funding activity in India in the period from January 2018 to June 2020, only 22 percent, or 540 investors, invested in startups led by at least one woman founder. 

Highlighting a key finding of the report, Nikhil said, “The exit percentage for startups led by at least one women founder (3.5 percent) is slightly higher than startups led by only male founders (2.01 percent) in tech. On a positive note, this is an indicator of high exit opportunities for women entrepreneurs. However, on the flip side, this also indicates that enough scaling opportunities are not available, which force them to exit early.”

Other challenges that emerged through the findings are elements such as patriarchal mindsets, and lack of networks and forums that can support women entrepreneurs and allow dialogues.

During the chat, Shradha said women need to do away with their inhibitions if they want to succeed. They need to invest in themselves to be able to confidently talk about all that they do without getting intimidated.

 “This is something that we are aiming to do through MAKERS India … Give women entrepreneurs, leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs a platform to engage and share their learnings and experiences,” Nikhil said.

Read and download the report here.

For more information on TechSparks 2020, check out our TechSparks 2020 website


TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai