India has 1022 biotech start-ups; US$2.8 billion in biotech-led investments in five years

The Indian biotech ecosystem is booming with 1022 companies and over US$2.8 billion (Rs 18,700 crore) investments in five years from 2012 to 2016. According to a study, “India’s biotech start-up ecosystem” by the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE).

Bangalore is the biotech start-up capital of India hosting 190 of the 1022 biotech start-ups formed in the last five years. National Capital Region (NCR) is #2 with 164 start-ups followed closely by Mumbai (163) and Hyderabad (160).

“This is good news and we are aiming to double this number with the ABLE Start-Ups 2020 initiative to take the count to 2020 companies by the year 2020 and US $5 billion of investments,” said Dr PM Murali, President, ABLE and CEO, Evolva India.

“ABLE takes pride in initiating a ‘mentoring’ cell of senior industry leaders to guide the next generation of biotech entrepreneurs and create the world’s most vibrant biotech ecosystem in India,” added Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, honorary chairman, ABLE and CMD, Biocon. Many senior ABLE members are already mentoring start-ups in their individual capacities so far and these efforts will be further strengthened” she further added

Of the 1022 new start-ups, 104 were formed in 2016; 367 during 2014 and 2015. Another 551 companies were established between the years 2012 and 2014.The ABLE study on “India’s Biotech Start-ups Ecosystem” found that over 3,000 new entrepreneurs have joined the ecosystem and at least a third of them are women entrepreneurs.

According to the study, private equity investments into these companies totaled around $2.6 billion and the balance came from own investments, government grants, and others like HNIs. Year 2015 was the best one attracting $851 million.

The Bio-Pharma sector continues to dominate the industry, accounting for 57 percent share of the companies formed followed by Bio-Research (16%), Bio-Agri (10%), and Bio-Industrial (9%). Overall nearly 40 percent of the companies were involved in manufacture of products and ingredients. About 16 percent start-ups were each into medical health instruments / appliances and R&D services respectively.

The study was done by ABLE’s in-house research team sifting through voluminous data on company formation from ROC databases. This is the first such study to map India’s biotech start-ups ecosystem. ABLE will soon be releasing more such studies on various other aspects of India’s $40 billion Bio-Economy.

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