We’re no longer building the X of somewhere or something — we are the X

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Today, after adding 34 unicorns to the list in the last 10 months and raising a record $26 billion+ across 1,100+ funding deals, India’s moment in the sun is here.
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“We’re building the Uber of India or the Airbnb of India”.

If you’ve been tracking the Indian startup space, you would have invariably heard that refrain from many a founder, especially during roadshows, VC pitches, and even at YourStory’s Tech30 presentations.

Silicon Valley startups, as well as those coming out of China have, in recent years, become tropes that startups use to explain their ideas and help investors, in particular, understand their business models.

But today, after adding 34 unicorns to the list in the last 10 months and raising a record $26 billion+ across 1,100+ funding deals, India’s moment in the sun is here.

We’re no longer building the X of somewhere or something — we are the X.

In fact, in a conversation recently with a Latin American founder, I was pleasantly surprised to hear about his plans to build a “BYJU’S of my region”.

And these aren’t sporadic instances.

Even within India, the startup narrative, moving to the interiors of the country, is becoming “I am the Ola or the Swiggy of my region”.

While taking nothing away from Silicon Valley, I see this as a sign of the audacity of ambition that drives Indian startups. You’ll know what I mean when you take a look at our Tech30 list this year which, we, at YourStory, believe really showcases the breadth of the innovation that Indian founders are spearheading. And the record funding we’ve received in the last nine months is testimony to the fact that Indian startups absolutely refuse to let anything deter them — including a global pandemic.

As a tribe that doesn’t rest on its laurels, we’re now looking to the future and asking ourselves, “What’s next?”...how can we do what we’ve been doing, better, and how can we future-proof the ecosystem to set it up for unabashed success.

We were once told that we simply don’t dream big enough, or can measure up to the quality, ambition or talent in the West. But our startups have proved naysayers wrong, and showed that India cannot be written off anymore.

Our story has just begun.

As we come together to celebrate yet another landmark year in the Indian startup ecosystem and our next Tech30 cohort, which we’ve evolved to make it Tech50 signalling the burgeoning startup ecosystem, I’d like to ask the startups waiting in the wings for their unicorn moment — who are YOU of India, and what are you building?

The answer to that question could make a world of difference to what you are doing. And probably make a difference to the world too.

Let’s go.


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