Indian tech startups haven’t had it so good.
Local tech startups within the nation raised $14.5 billion in 2019, beating their previous better of $10.6 billion last year, consistent with research firm Tracxn .
Tech startups in India this year participated in 1,185 financing rounds — 459 of these were Series A or later rounds — from 817 investors.
Early stage startups — those participating in angel or pre-Series A financing round — raised $6.9 billion this year, easily surpassing last year’s $3.3 billion figure, consistent with a report by venture debt firm InnoVen Capital.
According to InnoVen’s report, early stage startups that have typically struggled to draw in investors saw a 22% year-over-year increase within the number of financing deals they took part during this year. Cumulatively, at $2.6 million, their valuation also increased by 15% from last year.
Overall, there have been 81 financing deals of size between $25 million and $100 million, up from 56 last year and 36 the year before, and 27 rounds above $100 million, up from 17 in 2018 and and 9 in 2017, Tracxn told TechCrunch.
Also in 2019, 128 startups in India got acquired, four got publicly listed, and nine became unicorns. This year, Indian tech startups also attracted a record number of international investors, consistent with Tracxn.
This year’s fundraise further moves the nation’s burgeoning startup space on a path of steady growth.
Since 2016, when tech startups accumulated just $4.3 billion — down from $7.9 billion the year before — flow of capital has increased significantly within the ecosystem. In 2017, Indian startups raised $10.4 billion, per Tracxn.
“The decade has seen a powerful 25x growth from a small $550 million in 2010 to $14.5 billion in 2019 in terms of the entire funding raised by the startups,” said Tracxn.
What’s equally promising about Indian startups is that the challenges they’re starting to tackle today, said Dev Khare, a partner at VC fund Lightspeed Venture Partners, during a recent interview to TechCrunch.
In 2014 and 2015, startups were largely focused on building e-commerce solutions and replicating ideas that worked in Western markets. But today, they’re tackling a wide-range of categories and opportunities and building some solutions that haven’t been attempted in the other market, he said.
Tracxn’s analysis found that lodging startups raised about $1.7 billion this year — because of Oyo alone bagging $1.5 billion, followed by logistics startups like Elastic Run, Delhivery, and Ecom Express that secured $641 million.
176 horizontal marketplaces, quite 150 education learning apps, over 160 fintech startups, over 120 trucking marketplaces, 82 ride-hailing services, 42 insurance platforms, 33 used car listing providers, and 13 startups that are helping businesses and individuals access capital secured funding this year. Fintech startups alone raised $3.2 billion this year, quite startups operating in the other category, said Tracxn.
Sequoia Capital, with quite 50 investments — or co-investments — was the foremost active risk capital fund for Indian tech startups this year. (Rajan Anandan, former executive responsible of Google’s business in India and Southeast Asia, joined Sequoia Capital India as a director in April.) Accel, Tiger Global Management, Blume Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures were the opposite top four VCs.
Steadview Capital, with nine investments in startups including ride-hailing service Ola, education app Unacademy, and fintech startup BharatPe, led the way among private equity funds. General Atlantic, which invested in NoBroker and recently turned profitable edtech startup Byju’s, invested in four startups. FMO, Sabre Partners India, and CDC Group each invested in three startups.
Venture Catalysts, with over 40 investments including in HomeCapital and Blowhorn, was the highest accelerator or incubator in India this year. Y Combinator, with over 25 investments, Sequoia Capital’s Surge, Axilor Ventures, and Techstars were also very active this year.
Indian tech startups also attracted variety of direct investments from top corporates and banks this year. Goldman Sachs, which earlier this month invested in fintech startup ZestMoney, overall made eight investments this year. Among others, Facebook made its first investment in an Indian startup