Number of Women-led startups ( Cumulative Y-o-Y , (k startups)) 

Though women-led startups have also experienced the effects of funding winter with others,  they still managed to outperform the Indian startup ecosystem as a whole.  Women entrepreneurs share of startups in the Indian tech industry exceeds 8%, and among funded companies share is more than 18% 

The number of active investors investing in women-led startups has seen a steady increase since 2010, with a sharp year-on-year jump of 42% in 2021.

Funding Trend in Women-led Startups ( $ Bn) 

Year 2021 saw the highest in a decade with $ 4.9 Bn .Year 2021 saw rise by 91% compared to 2020 and there was a plunge in 2022 by 12% 

In India, women-led startups are gaining traction. In the past few years, the share of funding into women-led startups, as a percentage of overall total funding, has risen to 16% in 2022 from 11% in 2021.

Funding Funnel for Women-led Startups ( #Companies) 

Out of the ~2.2k women-led startups in India that have received funding, 36% have progressed to the Series A stage, and 24% have gone on to the Series D stage or beyond.  Women-led startups have outperformed the Indian startup ecosystem generally in 2022 as per the stage-by-stagebreakdown 

The overall Indian startup ecosystem has seen a 49% Y-o-Y decline in late-stage funding as a result of the funding winter in 2022, whereas women-led startups have seen a 26% Y-o-Y drop In the early stage funding rounds, women-led startups have been able to perform significantly better than the overall Indian Startup ecosystem in 2022 

Women-Led Startups saw a 76% Y-o-Y increase in Early Stage funding in 2022 as compared to a 9% increase in Early stage funding in the overall Indian Startup ecosystem

Top sectors in Women-led Startups (# Companies)

Fashion Tech with over 1k startups is the top sector in terms of the number of startups led by women founders followed by K-12 EdTech and the Online Grocery sector 

In terms of funding EdTech startups are at the top followed by Fashion Tech and The Online Grocery Sector.

Women-led startups by cities ( #Companies) 

Delhi NCR topped the list with a number of 2126 companies followed by Bengaluru with 1711 companies, and Mumbai with 1438 companies. 

Among the cities in India, Women led Startups in the Bengaluru have raised highest funding of $11.3 billion, followed by Delhi NCR ($5.7 billion) and Mumbai ( $ 3.5 billion) 

Bengaluru topped the list with 1404 fundraising rounds, followed by Delhi NCR with 1271 rounds and Mumbai with 960 rounds. 

Unicorn trend of Women-led Startups 

Almost 60% of all Unicorns with women at the helm were added in 2021 and 2022. 5ire, Mama Earth, ACKO, Mobikwik, and Amagi are some of the notable Unicorn companies founded / co-founded by female entrepreneurs 

Active Investors in Women-led startups 

As all businesses suffered during the pandemic, this was true in the case for female founders also. The graph has been significantly rising, showing an uptick in the number of investors in women led startups Women-led startups across the country experienced an 11% reduction in funding between 2021 and 2022, compared to a 37% decline in the overall Indian startup ecosystem. 

Sequoia Capital, Accel & Venture Catalysts are the overall top investors in the space to date, while Venture Catalysts, CIIE & 9Unicorns are the top Accelerators & Incubators investing in Women led startups 

Investor Name # of Portfolio Companies 

Sequoia Capital & Sequo (44)

Acquisition Trends in Women-led Startups

In the last two years (2021 and 2022) women-led startups accounted for more than 50% of the total acquisitions in the last five years. 

However, there has been a drop in the average acquisition price in 2022, due to the ongoing funding winter. Acquisitions of Big Basket, WhiteHat Jr, Curatio Healthcare, and PaySense are some of the notable acquisitions seen in the past few years. 

Company Acquirer(s) Acquisition DateAcquisition Price ($M) 

Bigbasket Tata Jan 20, 2021 Ramky Enviro KKR Aug 12, 2018 Justdial Reliance Retail Jul 16, 2021 WhiteHat Jr BYJU’S Aug 05, 2020 Curatio healthcare Torrent Pharma Sep 27, 2022 PaySense PayU Jan 10, 2019 Embibe Reliance Industries Apr 09, 2018 OmniActive TA Associates Management Nov 16, 2020 Clovia Reliance Retail Mar 21, 2022 Reliance Retail Aug 18, 2020 

LetsVenture 62 Accel 26 AngelList 59 Venture Catalysts 44 Blume Ventures 28 Indian Angel Network 39 Brand Capital 38 Kalaari Capital 21 Nexus Venture Partners 15 

List of top Accelerators & Incubators in Women-led Startups 

MapmyIndia Dec 21, 2021 Delhi 

RateGain Dec 17, 2021  London, 

LatentView Nov 23, 2021 Chennai Nykaa Nov 10, 2021 Mumbai EaseMyTrip Mar 19, 2021 Delhi 

Banka BioLoo Oct 29, 2020 Hyderabad Route Mobile Sep 21, 2020 Mumbai Add Shop Promotions Aug 21, 2018 Rajkot Newgen Software Jan 29, 2018 Delhi 

Yatra Dec 19, 2016 Gurgaon TeamLease Feb 12, 2016 Bengaluru Justdial Jun 05, 2013 Mumbai 

In closing 

Though there has been an increase in activity in the women-led startups, the participation of women in the ecosystem is still low. Some of the recent notable IPOs are Tracxn, Nykaa, Rate Gain, and Ease My Trip among others 

However, with increasing investor interest and favorable government policies, we expect the numbers to increase in the coming years. 

Government initiatives such as the Karnataka Government’s collaboration with Google to support emerging startups in the state, and the Union Budget’s allocation of funds to projects like Mission Shakti are expected to have a positive impact in the space.