Pune, also written as Poona, was earlier known as Punawadi or Punya Nagri which means “City of Virtue.” The city is popularly referred to as the “Oxford of The East,” as it is a very famous educational center in India. Over the years, Pune has become a booming IT hub and home to well-established automobile, manufacturing, glass, sugar, and metal-forging industries of India.
And now, as education turns into entrepreneurship, it has turned into one of the emerging hubs for startups.
The Pune startup community is quite strong too. Pune Open Coffee Club, Roundtables by iSpirt and Product Nation, TiECon Pune organised by TiE Pune, and an array of other events and workshops are helping the city to compete with more established hubs like Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.
Though Pune has not been in the limelight too often, it does have its share of success stories through startups like FirstCry, TastyKhana, Accompli, Zimbra, and Dhingana, that have seen successful exits in the past.
Let’s have a look at the facts and figures for the past 2 years.
Facts And Figures
“72 Startups have been funded between 2014-2016, with a total amount of $435 Mn”. The city’s 2016 numbers are a silver lining in the year’s downturn after reaching new heights in 2015. While most startup hubs (Chennai, Hyderabad) have faced a wane in funding , Pune managed to keep it’s head above the water this year.
This year, 33 startups have already secured funding till August 2016. Through our forecasting, we have projected close to 48 deals worth a total amount of $135 Mn by year-end.
Investors have loosened their purses the most to startups in the ecommerce sector. It is also emerging in terms of enterprisetech. About $86 Mn was infused into the ecommerce sector, contributing 20% of the total funding between 2014-2016. FirstCry and iCustommadeit secured million-dollar tickets during this period.
IDG Ventures India, Kalaari Capital, New Enterprise Associates, SAIF Partners, Valiant Capital Partners, and Vertex Ventures are the top investors that invested in the Pune ecosystem between 2014-2016.
What The Ecosystem Is Building Towards
Pune was referred to in the past as a “Pensioners’ Paradise” since many government officers, civil engineers, and Army personnel preferred to settle down there after their retirement. Now, it is on the road to be the next startup paradise.
The city has reputed tech colleges, namely College Of Engineering Pune, Pune Institute of Computer Technology, Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), and Vishwakarma Institute of Technology. These universities are producing ample eager graduates every year. Furthermore, these esteemed institutes are taking up the mantle to groom and mentor startups as well. Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) Pune has launched EDUGILD in June 2015 as an initiative to mentor edtech startups. It successfully completed its first batch in July 2016.
So far Pune has 1107 startups (as per angel.co).
Although the ecosystem seems to be filled with talent flow and cheap accommodation, Pune is yet to move on from a traditional manufacturing sector and become an immersive startup hub. However, with the trends that have been observed over the last two years, capital flow and the number of deals have definitely increased. And it would be easy to conclude that the day is not far when the university town will join major metros such as Delhi and Bengaluru in direct competition for the title of ‘Startup Hub.’.
Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of the startup ecosystem in various other Indian cities, with Chandigarh coming up next.
[Graphics by Satya Yadav]