Bengaluru tops world in digital shopping stakes

Bengaluru tops world in digital shopping stakes
Courtesy: Oscar Wong | Moment via Getty Images

The Indian city of Bengaluru almost tripled its ecommerce investments from $5 billion in 2020 to take the top spot, ahead of other leading cities in the world – New York City (second), San Francisco (third), London (fourth) and Berlin (fifth), according to official analysis released in London this week.

India is the second-largest global venture capital (VC) investment hub for digital shopping companies, growing by a whopping 175 per cent from $8 billion in 2020 to $22 billion in 2021. On a global scale, India came in second only to the US last year, which attracted $51 billion in investment, followed by China at third with $14 billion and the UK at fourth with $7 billion. Within India, Bengaluru comes out on top globally with $14 billion worth of VC investments in digital shopping in 2021, followed by Gurugram at No. 7 with $4 billion and Mumbai at No. 10 with $3 billion.

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According to the London & Partners analysis of Dealroom.co investment data, increasing demand for online purchases during a series of lockdowns across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic led to global investors showing a strong appetite for backing ecommerce companies.

“Today’s data shows that the UK and India are two of the world’s leading hubs for digital shopping companies with high levels of global investment and unicorns,” said Hemin Bharucha, Country Director, India at London & Partners – the Mayor of London’s international trade and investment agency.

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“It’s fantastic to see Bengaluru emerge a global leader for digital shopping investment last year. This surely creates several opportunities for collaboration with an already strong market in London. As Europe’s largest hub for digital shopping investment, there has never been a better time for India’s strong pool of fast-growing ecommerce companies to choose London as the destination to scale their business outside of their home market,” he said. The data also shows that Bengaluru ranked number 5 among cities with the potential for future unicorns, just behind London. Three of the 15 global cities with the highest count of current unicorns are in India — Bengaluru at No. 6 with 19 unicorns in 2021 (up from three in 2020, Gurugram at No. 7 with 13 unicorns (up from 3 in 2020) and Mumbai at No. 14 with 7 unicorns.

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London is the leading European hub for digital shopping investment, with a record $5 billion raised by digital shopping companies based in the capital in 2021. Notable investment rounds into London-based digital shopping companies in 2021 included: $180mn series H funding round for online food delivery service, Deliveroo; $150mn raised by online used car marketplace, Carzam; and $55mn raised by online dog-food delivery service, Butternut Box.

Overall, global venture capital investment into digital shopping more than doubled in 2021 following a significant consumer shift to ecommerce platforms during the pandemic. The total global VC investment for 2021 stood at a record $140 billion, up from $68 billion in 2020.

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