Pre-budget 2018 Reaction Mr. Mahesh Lingareddy, Founder & Chairman of Smartron

India needs an investment (VC) ecosystem that can pump in US$15-US$20 billion every year to support and sustain a 5000+ startup ecosystem and rival other countries like US and China. Union Budget 2018 could play a decisive role in strengthening the startup ecosystem because it is no longer about just the number of startups but also about creating a pipeline with successful yearly exits across sectors. Currently, startups are stuck at the beginning of the funnel due to lack of investment ecosystem.  

This year’s budget could see tax sops and other incentives for investors to invest in startups. Startups need different kinds and levels of capital through their life cycle, from conception to profitability. These thousands of startups need seed capital ranging from US$100,000 to US$1 million. Of these thousands of startups, few hundred would need early-stage investment primarily from venture capitalists ranging from US$1 million to US$10 million. Of these few hundreds, few tens would need capital from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.

We want Indian investors to benefit from Unicorns and successful exits to create domino effect within the ecosystem.  If Softbank or Tiger Global have massive exits from likes of Flipkart or Ola or Paytm, the money is going back to Japan or US. This will allow us to build an innovation engine pipeline and build 10-15 global brands over the next decade. News Service

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