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  • $3.0 billion in equity funding received by B2B tech startups in 2019
  • Global digital engineering R&D spending is expected to reach $700 to $750 billion by 2023
  • B2B tech startups account for three of seven unicorns in 2020 (YTD, India)

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Global cloud-led, data-centric software company NetApp in partnership with management and strategy consulting firm Zinnov released the findings of a study titled “Leveraging Start-Ups to Unlock Digital Opportunities in Large Enterprises”, stating that business-to-business (B2B) tech startups are speeding up digital transformation.

In the report, NetApp has drawn on its cloud expertise to contribute data-led insights into the role of business-to-business (B2B) tech startups in speeding up digital transformation. The advent of cloud technologies has led entrepreneurs from India to build products for the world.

The report highlights a thriving technology ecosystem of over 4,200 B2B tech startups from India, with 63% of them working on enterprise technology in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), healthcare, retail, and automotive verticals. The complete study can be accessed here.

Data-driven enterprise

Speaking of the coaxial path of startups and data-driven enterprises, NetApp India VP and Managing Director Ravi Chhabria said big data, analytics, AI, and ML are advanced technologies in focus for B2B startups.

“Enterprises in every industry want to gain the first-mover advantage using the power of these technologies. Much before this need became apparent, NetApp has been reinventing customer experiences through the Active IQ platform, using AI for optimal data management as AIOps,” said NetApp India VP and Managing Director Ravi Chhabria.

NetApp India VP and Managing Director Ravi Chhabria said today’s infrastructure investments mark a clear preference for technology providing business-relevant solutions that can be adopted across the value chain.

The report further states that:

  • 44% of all startups are now in the B2B tech bracket.
  • 43% of all Indian unicorn businesses now are B2B tech startups.
  • Over 415 B2B tech startups received a cumulative equity funding of $3.0 billion with a twofold growth in average funding.

A key driver of this growth is an increase in cloud-born startups that are using advanced technology to solve new use cases across industries.

Commenting on the study, Zinnov CEO Pari Natarajan said the global digital engineering spend, which is expected to reach $750 billion by 2023, underscores the trend of accelerating enterprise digital transformation and creates a massive opportunity to be capitalised on.

“As companies rethink resilience, forge newer partnerships, and leverage the external ecosystem, new-age infrastructure becomes critical,” said Zinnov CEO Pari Natarajan.

Artificial intelligence

B2B startups have truly come into their own by using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to create and offer enterprise-grade solutions.

However, even mature startups often require assistance with go-to-market opportunities. That is where experienced technology companies such as NetApp fit in. According to the study, there are over 60 active open innovation programs run by corporations in India. 

NetApp® Excellerator is one such program that has engaged with more than 1,600 startups, seen 3 successful exits, and worked on 9 proofs of concept (POCs). Over 70% of startups received follow-on funding after graduating from the program.

Key growth verticals and their areas of technology spending in 2019 

The BFSI sector spent $32 billion on digital engineering in 2019. Robo-investment advisory, payments technology, and telematics-based insurance are the major areas of focus.

Healthcare digital engineering spending stood at $18 billion. The focus is on remote patient monitoring, diagnosis prediction, healthcare robots, patient experience platforms, and physician-assisted technology.

Auto industry spending was $25 billion with a focus on producing autonomous vehicles, connected cars, and advanced driver assisted systems (ADAS).

Digital engineering spending in the media sector was $11 billion. The focus has been on over-the-top (OTT) media, AI/ML-based content recommendation and tagging, and targeted advertising using intelligent platforms.

The retail industry is using connected tools for monitoring and feedback, delivering omnichannel experiences. Digital engineering spending for the sector was $19 billion.

The industrial sector, too, witnessed technology spending around $11 billion. Predictive maintenance, Industry 4.0, and digital twin technology have been the major areas. 

NetApp Excellerator director and leader Madhurima Agarwal said organisations are democratising innovation through these converging disruptive technologies, and B2B tech startups play an integral role in enabling this across all industry verticals.

“As we’ve seen with the NetApp Excellerator, a structured collaboration program results in multiple outcomes for the startups such as joint go-to-market opportunities, equity investments, or acquisitions,” said NetApp Excellerator director and leader Madhurima Agarwal.

This report has been co-developed by NetApp and Zinnov Management Consulting through a comprehensive study of how enterprises have been using startups to propel digital transformation.

Data centre

During the study, the team conducted both primary and secondary research for analysis and key insights. The enterprise adoption rate is based on market spending, quantum of industry use cases, and use cases adopted by the market leaders in the industry.

NetApp is a global cloud-led, data-centric software company that empowers organizations to lead with data in the age of accelerated digital transformation. The company provides systems, software, and cloud services that enable them to run their applications optimally from data center to cloud, whether they are developing in the cloud, moving to the cloud, or creating their own cloudlike experiences on premises.

With solutions that perform across diverse environments, NetApp helps organizations build their own data fabric and securely deliver the right data, services, and applications to the right people—anytime, anywhere.

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