Bengaluru’s Female Founders: Leading India’s Startup Revolution

Bengaluru has emerged as the leading city in India for women-led startups, hosting 1,783 such enterprises. This makes it the top destination for women entrepreneurs in the country, surpassing Mumbai and Delhi, which have 1,480 and 1,195 women-led startups respectively​​​​​​​​.

India’s startup ecosystem has grown significantly, becoming the third-largest globally, after the United States and China. The country now boasts over 61,400 startups. Despite Bengaluru’s lead in fostering women-led startups, there remains a noticeable gender gap in the Indian startup landscape. Efforts are being made to address this gap through various programs, grants, fellowships, and incubation programs specifically aimed at women-founded startups​​.

In an effort to support innovators in need of early-stage funding, Karnataka, the state where Bengaluru is located, has become the first in India to offer a grant in aid of Rs 50 lakh to startups, with a significant focus on female entrepreneurs. Approximately 30% of the winners of this grant are female founders​​.

Funding trends for women-led startups in India have seen fluctuations over the years. Tracxn reports that funding for these startups increased from 171 in 2014 to 460 in 2022. However, there has been a sharp decline in 2023, with funding dropping to 185. From 2008 to 2018, 14 women-led unicorns were formed in India, and Bengaluru-based Open became the 100th unicorn featuring two women co-founders, COO Mabel Chacko and CFO Deena Jacob. Additionally, notable Indian unicorns like Nykaa, Mamaearth, Hasura, Pristyn Care, OfBusiness, Mobikwik, The Good Glamm Group, and Livspace feature at least one woman co-founder, with Mamaearth going public in November​​​​.

This information highlights Bengaluru’s significant role in the Indian startup ecosystem, particularly in empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs, despite the ongoing challenges and fluctuations in funding.



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