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A Record $14.5 Billion Was Raised By Indian Start-Ups in 2019

A Record $14.5 Billion Was Raised By Indian Start-Ups in 2019

Yeshey Rabzyor Yolmo

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Indian start-ups have raised $14.5 billion this year beating their previous best of $10.6 billion for 2018. The Indian start-up funding has multiplied by 25x since 2010 which capped at $550 million then. And previously Indian start-ups have raised $10.4 billion in 2017. This year, 81 deals ranging between $25 – 100 million were made. Last year 56 of such similar deals were made and 27 deals were made in 2017, according to media.

The capital was raised through 1185 rounds of funding of which 459 were series A or late-stage investments from a total of 817 investors according to India Tech Annual Factsheet – 2019.



The reports state that there were 24 ‘unicorns’, privately owned start-ups, which were valued over 1 billion, in India, this year alone, had 155 ‘soonicorns’, startups with the potential to become a unicorn in the future. Out of the total (24+155), 9 unicorns and 60 soonicorns were formed this year. BigBasket, Delhivery and LensKart are three of the newest ‘unicorns’ of 2019.

The Indian Start-up Scenario

SoftBank has been busy throughout the year. It has invested $1.5 billion in OYO Rooms along with partners like Sequoia and Lightspeed Venture Partners. It invested $1 billion, along with Ant Financial and Discovery Capital, in Paytm to compete in the lucrative digital payments market currently dominated by Google (Google Pay) and Walmart (Phone Pe). SoftBank has also invested $250 million in Ola, ride-hailing company from Bangalore, in their electric cars initiative, which should be available as an option next year. Lens Kart, a Delhi-based optics company, also crossed $1billion valuation, making it a unicorn, after signing a deal with SoftBank. Delhivery, a logistics company operating out of Gurugram, also raised $413 million in Softbank Ventures led Series F funding.

Sequoia (a venture capital firm), has also been the busiest, having invested or co-invested in 60 start-ups in an array of series funding. Accel and Tiger Global, both of which are venture capital firms have invested in 40 and 20 start-ups respectively. Accel has invested in Indian start-ups before too, but now start-ups like Swiggy and Flipkart are on their books. Accel has raised $550 million to invest in early-stage start-ups in India in 2019, most of the deals were to the tune of $2 million or less. 

Other notable deals include Mumbai-based e-pharmacy company — PharmEasy securing $220 million investment from Singapore state investment firm; Bangalore-based B2b e-commerce platform — Udaan securing $585 million in Tencent (Chinese multinational conglomerate) led Series D funding, which is now valued at $2.5 billion; Ebix is another software company based in the US who has acquired Yatra for $337 million; and Qoo10, an e-commerce platform based in Singapore, who has acquired ShopClues for $100 million. 

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This year has also seen the start-ups to secure more funding than the previous years. In 2019, start-ups raised $6.9 billion in Series A funding or Angel investment while it had raised $3.3 billion in similar ventures last year, stated by reports.

Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Mumbai have seen the highest number of emerging start-ups in the last three years with Delhi NCR leading the charge with 33% of the market share, 21% for Bangalore and 13% for Mumbai. 

Goldman Sachs has also made a total of 8 investments this year, on the other hand, Facebook made their first investment in Indian start-ups by funding Meesho — a social-commerce firm, which allows small businesses and individuals to start their own online stores through social media channels like WhatsApp and Facebook. Along with that, Twitter has also invested $100 million in ShareChat which is a social networking app.

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