CASUALTY ANALYSIS

Almost 1,000 startups died in India in the last two years

Quartz india
Quartz india

Here’s the bitter truth about entrepreneurship in India: Over 40% of startups set up in the last two years have already shut shop.

Since June 2014, some 2,281 Indian startups had begun operations across a range of sectors, including e-commerce, health technology, robotics, logistics, business intelligence and analytics, food technology, and online recruitment. But, according to data analysed by Delhi-based research firm Xeler8, 997 of these have already failed.

The main reason, it appears, is a lack of funding. “Ones which got an investment lasted a little longer,” said Rishabh Lawania, Xeler8’s founder. For the rest, the end came swiftly, usually within the first 12 months of launching.

The highest number of casualties were in red-hot sectors such as logistics, e-commerce, and food technology, where some of India’s most successful startups operate. Lack of innovation and over-crowding probably led to the closures.

The e-commerce casualties included online lifestyle store Fashionara and fashion marketplace DoneByNone. Dazo, Spoonjoy, and Eatlo failed in the food tech space. Other prominent failures were recruitment marketplace TalentPad.com, marketplace for leisure activities, Tushky, and on-demand laundry services Tooler.

But such failure is hardly the end of the road for some entrepreneurs. Although around 75% of the founders of failed startups did not try again, instead finding jobs at other firms or startups, the remainder is likely to attempt again. Time is on their side: the average age of founders of these failed startups was only 27 years.

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