Sri Lanka benchmarked among 55 tech ecosystems: ICTA

sri lanka tech startups

Apr 05, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has been benchmarked among 55 technology startup ecosystems in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017, the island’s ICT agency said.

Although Sri Lanka did not rank among the top 20 ecosystems in the world, the island was compared positively to four startup clusters in the Asia Pacific — Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, New Zealand and Seoul.

“The Government of Sri Lanka is working hard to offer universal access to broadband infrastructure and mobile connectivity to its citizens, but you’ll already find the local tech scene teeming with the right vibe, prolific ideas, and programmers typing away on their keyboards,” the report states.

“It’s no wonder then that its economy has seen robust annual growth, with a GDP per capita that’s ahead of the other South Asian countries, and making it a promising target for curious investors.”

Research shows Sri Lanka has a growing ecosystem of 150 to 300 active tech startups. This number is expected to grow after 2016 saw one of the biggest exists in the country with eChanneling, a service to call doctors via web, acquired for an amount estimated at around 4.5 million dollars.

According to the report, Sri Lanka doesn’t have many output oriented metrics to showcase its progress, but its early-stage funding is growing at one of the fastest rates in the world.

“Its decent Global Connectedness scores, combined with low cost engineering talent is a bright spot to build around.”

The report further says that the Sri Lankan startups have the 2nd fastest time to hire an engineer, with a median of 20 days. The Asia-Pacific median is 35 days. Sri Lanka also has the 3rd highest percentage of founders with an undergraduate degree at 60 percent.

The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka spearheaded the initiative to have Sri Lanka included in this global report by assisting Startup Genome in the data collection and other activities related to the report in Sri Lanka, the ICT agency said.

“I spent my time visiting with two dozen startups about their products and experiences. Many of them displayed impressive levels of innovation,” JF Gauthier, co author of the Global Startup Ecosystem Report, said commenting on Sri Lanka.

“The startup ecosystem in Sri Lanka has seen a significant growth since 2015, igniting the wave for digital innovation. The Government and the industry have jointly taken the initiative of driving the development of the ecosystem. It is self evolving and matures on a daily basis fostering the culture that is required for the Digital Economy,” said Muhunthan Canagey, CEO and Managing Director of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka.

The tech startup hub of the world, Silicon Valley maintains its position as the No.1 ecosystem in the world while Singapore has been ranked No.1 in terms of the talent available for startups to use.

All 55 cities participating in this year’s research were rigorously analyzed based on their performance and eight factors driving startup success: funding, market reach, global connectedness, technical talent, startup experience, resource attraction, corporate involvement, founder ambition and strategy.

The report can be seen here.