India might be considered a big player in the international startup ecosystem, but the elephant in the room remains the highly skewed role the Big Three Indian cities play in helping India stay perched on its pedestal.

Bengaluru has been the top city in terms of both funding and deals till early 2015 (Q2-Q3 2015). However, Delhi/NCR has since surpassed it to become the startup utopia in 2016. Delhi/NCR had 18% more deals in 2016 as compared to Bengaluru, although, in terms of funding it has only 1%.

Over the two years, Delhi/NCR has dominated funding rounds in terms of deals – covering almost 33% of the total deals in 2014-2016. Bengaluru has raced ahead in funding amount, with 40% of the total funding made to the Indian startup ecosystem coming from Bengaluru.

It is understandable that metros tend to draw in startups because of access to the market, audience acceptance, and talent pools. With these advantages, Bengaluru, Delhi/NCR, & Mumbai have proven to be the troika of economic hubs that have held up the fort for India as the data below showcases.

Observations

  • Early signs of the startup boom began in H2-2016 – with Bengaluru and Delhi leading the initial charge.
  • Bengaluru’s and Delhi’s average ticket size for Q3 – 2014 and Q4 – 2014 respectively, were $60Mn+. This number is 8x the average ticket size of all Indian startup fundings during 2014 to 2016.
  • Bengaluru’s Q3 – 2015 outgrossed the city’s total funding throughout 2016.
  • Delhi has outperformed Bengaluru almost throughout 2016 in terms of both deals and gross funding.
  • The average ticket size of other cities has not even once matched the average ticket size for Indian startups during 2015-2016.
  • Cities other than the Big Three have failed to draw more than $250 Mn in any given quarter.
  • Mumbai’s numbers have a negative correlation to the numbers of other cities.

[Graphics designed by Satya Yadav.]

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