Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

Startup Genome: Canada Ranks 14th in The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021

Startup Genome | Sep 29, 2021

Global startup ecosystem report 2021 - Startup Genome:  Canada Ranks 14th in The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021State of the Global Startup Economy

In March 2020 startups’ prospects looked bleak. Consumer demand had cratered. Travel ceased. Struggling businesses shed workers or closed. Global VC spending dropped 17% in the first quarter compared to the preceding one, with the number of rounds down 5%, according to Crunchbase. In China alone the number of venture rounds plunged 74% in just two months.

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Then everything changed. Covid-19, which made rapid adopters of us all, slashed a bright line between how we once lived and how we will live. It is a line across which entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to ferry us. That is why, for many economies, startups are leading the way back to economic vitality.

The pandemic—dire for humans—has been fuel to technology’s fire. Last year Internet capacity rose 35%, reports market-research firm Telegeography. Global broadband traffic in the fourth quarter increased more than 51% over the previous year: a combination of more subscribers using more data during Covid-19, according to OpenVault, which tracks broadband consumption. Global e-commerce shot up to $26.7 trillion, according to the United Nations, with countries like the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and China experiencing especially dramatic spikes. The number of people buying food and household items online grew an average 30% worldwide.

Businesses, meanwhile, pivoted to remote work, with a corresponding bump in productivity of 3.1%, according to Goldman Sachs. Companies also sped up digitization of customer and supply-chain operations by three to four years, reports McKinsey & Company.

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Investors surged into these and other opportunities. In the first half of 2020 venture funding worldwide was $148 billion. In the first half of 2021 it had soared 95% to $288 billion, with increases at every stage, according to Crunchbase. Startups also are benefiting from new investment channels, including democratizing startups like Robinhood; crowdfunding; and special purchase acquisition companies. (Although some increasingly are skeptical of SPACs.)

The term “unicorn”—an indicator of extreme rarity—is becoming a misnomer. As of August there were more than 800 startups around the world with valuations above $1billion, for a cumulative valuation in excess of $2.6 trillion, according to CB Insights. Just between October 2020 and June 2021 their number rose 43%. Although U.S. companies dominated, China, Canada, India, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom, and France produced between 7 and 10 unicorns in the first half of 2021, according to Crunchbase. Meanwhile, VC-backed exits are smoking hot. Startup Genome’s data show a 20% year-over-year growth in the dollar value of exits in startups globally.

For entrepreneurial ecosystems, 2021 is turning out to be a year of remarkable growth and productivity. And the dispersal of success—already underway before the pandemic—has only accelerated.

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Key Insights

  • Despite a turbulent year for many, the top five global startup ecosystems maintain their reign at the top, with Silicon Valley in the #1 position, followed by New York City and London tied for #2 for the second year in a row. Beijing and Boston follow at #4 and #5, respectively.
  • North America continues to dominate the Global Rankings, with 50% of the Top 30 ecosystems coming from this region, followed by Asia with 27% and Europe with 17% of the top performing ecosystems globally.
  • The global startup economy is worth over $3.8 trillion in Ecosystem Value, more than the individual GDP of most G7 economies, not including the value of exits prior to 2018.
  • There are now 79 ecosystems generating over $4 billion in value which is more than double the number identified in 2017.
  • 91 ecosystems created unicorns in 2020.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Startup Genome:  Canada Ranks 14th in The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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