Over the past decade, the Sri Lankan ecosystem has grown tremendously. This can be attributed to the collaborative efforts by public and private stakeholders to nurture local talent, improve the business climate, and foster international connections. Among these connections has been the long-standing partnership between the ICTA and Startup Genome to benchmark Sri Lanka alongside other ecosystems globally. This year too, Sri Lanka has been included in Startup Genome’s annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).
The partnership between the ICTA and Startup Genome dates back to 2016. Since then, the two organisations have been actively working towards identifying the underlying potential of the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem. The island nation has now been featured in several Startup Genome reports, including a report last year where the organisation explored the impact of COVID-19 on startups globally. Such efforts have served to promote the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem while also identifying how it can attract greater levels of investment and talents to grow exponentially.
The latest edition of the GSER explores in detail the current status of the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem. It notes that Sri Lanka has notable success stories such as that of NIFTRON, which raised $100,000 in angel funding and nCinga, which had an exit of $15.5 million. From a regulatory perspective, the report notes there have been progressive steps forward. One such example is the recently launched Credit Evaluation Framework developed by the ICTA and PwC. Another is the Ministry of Finance announcing last year that any software bids for the government under LKR 2 million would go to startups.
Sharing his thoughts, Secretary at the Ministry of Technology, Jayantha De Silva said, “Sri Lanka’s Startup Development Strategy boasts of state-of-the-art technology parks, startup-friendly policies, a venture fund, and an entrepreneur visa, to name a few initiatives in our holistic approach to develop our startup ecosystem.”
Looking back, the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem has come a long way, and in the past year, recent developments have served as progressive leaps forward. Nevertheless, there remains much-untapped potential within the island nation, yet to be unlocked. Armed with a clear understanding of the current state of the ecosystem, the GSER offers us a way forward towards unlocking the hidden potential of the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem. You can view the entire GSER 2021 report by clicking here.