Kochi: With a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to grow and flourish, the start-up ecosystem in Kerala is catching up with neighbouring Karnataka. Primarily known for tourism, the state currently hosts more than 2,200 start-ups, with over 36% of these in Kochi alone. The CREDAI-ANAROCK report ‘Kerala – Unravelling the Growth Trajectory’ unveiled at the CREDAI Kerala Statecon – 2020 held in Kochi today, confirms that the state now ranks among India’s top 5 start-up incubation hubs along with Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha and Rajasthan.
The report finds that in terms of overall start-up funding in Kerala, both 2018 and 2019 saw significant growth over the previous years.
Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants says, “In just the first nine months of 2019, the state received approx. USD 44 mn in funding spread across 13 deals – a notable increase of 18% over 2018. Among the top investors were Unicorn India Ventures, India Angel Network Fund, Malabar Angels, Sea Fund, Jose Pattara and Flat6Labs Bahrain.”
Relatively low cost of operations, skilled manpower availability, modern technology use and highly supportive government policies such as Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM) have been key factors driving Kerala’s start-up revolution.
Mr. Krishna Kumar – Chairman, CREDAI Kerala says, “Kerala is one of the most literate and skilled states in India. Schools, colleges, start-up incubators and government institutes have been very efficiently linked into an ecosystem that provides ample opportunities for the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Other notable features of Kerala’s start-up ecosystem:
In early 2019, the government initiated an integrated start-up complex in Kochi spread over 1.8 lakh sq. ft. Three similar projects are in the pipeline, increasing the capacity to over 5 lakh sq. ft.
Nearly 59% of Kerala’s start-ups have their headquarters in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts.
Home to IIM and National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode has emerged as a preferred start-up destination in recent years. The city hosted nearly 10% of the state’s start-ups in 2019, compared to 6% a year earlier.