According to official research presented here on Wednesday, India is the second-largest global venture capital investment hub for digital retail startups, expanding by a whopping 175% from USD 8 billion in 2020 to USD 22 billion in 2021.

Last year, India came in second to the United States, which received USD 51 billion in investment, with China coming in third with USD 14 billion and the United Kingdom coming in fourth with USD 7 billion.

Within India, Bengaluru leads the way with USD 14 billion in Venture Capital (VC) investments in digital retail in 2021, followed by Gurugram at USD 4 billion and Mumbai at USD 3 billion. Bengaluru’s population nearly tripled.

According to a London & Partners examination of Dealroom.Co-investment data, rising demand for online purchases during the COVID-19 epidemic resulted in global investors displaying a significant desire for funding e-commerce enterprises.

“Today’s data show that the United Kingdom 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.

“It’s wonderful to see Bengaluru emerge as a global leader in digital shopping1investment last year.” This undoubtedly opens up a number of chances for partnership with a market that is already robust in London.

“There has never been a better time for India’s robust pool of fast-growing e-commerce companies to choose London as the destination to scale their operation outside of their home market,” he said.

According to the statistics, Bengaluru is placed fifth among cities with the potential for future unicorns, trailing only London.

Three of the top 15 worldwide cities with the most current unicorns are in India: Bengaluru, which ranks sixth with 19 unicorns in 2021 (up from three in 2020), Gurugram, which ranks seventh with 13 unicorns (up from three in 2020), and Mumbai, which ranks fourteenth with 7 unicorns.

London is the main European hub for digital retail financing, with digital shopping startups based in the city raising a record USD 5 billion in 2021.

In 2021, notable investment rounds into London-based digital shopping companies included: a USD 180 million series H funding round for online food delivery service Deliveroo; a USD 150 million funding round for online used car marketplace Carzam; and a USD 55 million funding round for online dog-food delivery service Butternut Box.

“London has always had a distinct creative approach that stems from the grassroots and the street,” said Julia Hawkins, a partner at venture finance firm LocalGlobe.

Because of the explosive expansion of e-commerce, many consumers have gravitated toward communities where they can discover their tribe.

 “By combining London’s artistic flair with e-commerce and embedded fintech, we can create new opportunities for London-based start-ups that the rest of the world will look to,” she says.

 Following a large consumer shift to e-commerce platforms during the pandemic, global venture capital investment in digital shopping more than doubled in 2021.

Total global VC investment in 2021 is expected to reach a new high of USD 140 billion, up from USD 68 billion in 2020.

According to London & Partners, the figures for investment in digital retail startups are based on the definition of online marketplaces used by analytics firm Dealroom.Co, which provided the VC investment data as of February 15 this year.