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Only 11% of tech funds reach Deep Tech start-ups, need higher seed funding: Nasscom chief

China and the United States are prioritizing their funds for the high-tech startup ecosystem, Debjani Ghosh said.


Indian tech startups need higher seed and seed funding to grow faster as only 11% of tech-related funds reach this ecosystem at present, Debjani said today. Ghosh, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).

Deep tech or deep tech startups are companies that work in the field of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, quantum, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), drones and augmented reality (AR).

Speaking at a workshop on “Startups and Entrepreneurship: Vision India@2047”, organized by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) of the Ministry of Commerce, Debjani Ghosh pointed out that on 25,000 total technology startups in the country, only 3,000 are related to deep technology which only represents 12%.

India has excellent deep tech startups working across the gamut of emerging technologies, but only 11% of total tech-related funding goes to deep tech, she said.

Countries like China and the United States are prioritizing their funds for the high-tech startup ecosystem because this sector is the engine of innovation for their countries, she said.

The tech startup ecosystem is not equal to the tech startup ecosystem, Debjani Ghosh pointed out, pointing out that their life cycles are different.

Investors and regulators need to understand that tech startups take longer to get to product market because they have to spend time on research and innovation.

She suggested the creation of a “starter service” modeled on compulsory military service in countries like Singapore.

“Can we say that in the third or fourth year of engineering (courses), you (students) have to go and work for a year in a tech startup? This would help tech startups access top talent and compete with the big businesses,” the tech industry veteran said.

“The talent pool is there, but the problem is access to talent,” said Debjani Ghosh.

“We need to move towards risk-based regulation,” she said, adding that patents and talent are absolutely essential for the tech startup sector.

There are only about 485 “really inventive” deep tech startups in India, she said, and suggested to ambitiously increase that number to 10,000 by the end of this decade.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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