This year, the volume of seed-stage investment overwhelmed with almost 396 deals aggregating to $705.86 million while around 166 investments at series A amounted to roughly $1.67 billion, data until December 20 showed.
India’s startup ecosystem has a top-notch record investment of nearly $36 billion in privately owned firms this year as demand for digitisation rose manifold amid the Covid-19 pandemic. UK-based Investment data platform Preqin estimates that venture and private equity funding increased three-fold during the year, up from the $11 billion swept by Indian startups in 2020.
However, most of the investments were headed towards pre-IPO funding rounds in brands like Zomato, Ola, Policybazaar and Paytm, with the top 10 deals summing up to $5.58 billion, Prequin data showed.
Top 5 Funding Firms For Indian Startups in 2021
A91 Partners, a venture firm run by former Sequoia employees, closed its second fund in November for $550 million (INR 4,095 crore). The venture capital fund intends to invest in 15 to 17 established Indian businesses or those with a presence in India. Consumer products and services, financial services, healthcare, and technology are among its core areas.
Private life insurance firms, high-net-worth individuals (HNIs), family offices, and Indian entrepreneurs contributed to the fund. The International Finance Corporation and Asia Alternatives were among the foreign LPs who invested in the fund.
A91 Partners took part in Atomberg Technologies’ $20 million fundraising round earlier this year. Paperboat, Aye, Atomberg, SUGAR Cosmetics, and even the unicorn Digit Insurance are among the companies in the fund’s portfolio.
Chiratae Ventures, a tech-focused venture capital firm, closed its fourth fund (oversubscribed by 25%) at $337 million in August of this year. Indian investors, mainly family offices and industrial families, account for more than half of the fund’s backers. The fund also has international backers from the US, the UK, Europe, Japan, and Singapore.
In 2007, Chiratae’s first fund (then known as IGD Ventures) was closed for $150 million. Six years later, the firm closed its second fund at $175 million, followed by its third fund at $208 million in 2016.
Chiratae Ventures was a participant in Vayana Network’s INR 283 Cr ($38 Mn) Series C fundraising round earlier this month.
Chiratae has previously invested in firms that have gone on to become unicorns, such as FirstCry, Flipkart, Lenskart, and Policybazaar. PolicyBazaar has also submitted their DRHP. Other startups in its portfolio include Agrostar, Bizongo, Bounce, Cropin, Curefit, Emotix, GoMechanic, HealthifyMe, PlayShifu, Pyxis, and Uniphore, among others.
TVS Capital Funds
TVS Capital Funds, a private equity firm based in Chennai, has announced the complete closure of its fund TVS Shriram Growth Fund III, which raised INR 2,000 crores ($263 million).
At the time, Mani Krishnaiyer, strategic advisor at TVS Capital Funds, told the media, “Every single cent is from India.” “We’re not opposed to generating dollars,” he added, “but the family offices that have invested in the fund are also keen to help the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
24 family offices contributed 45 percent of the funds, with individual contributions totalling more than INR 10 crore. Another 22% of the fund came from development finance institutions and insurance firms, with another 26% coming from ultra-high-net-worth people.
GoDigit General Insurance Limited, DCB Bank, and LEAP India are among the businesses sponsored by the fund.
Amazon Smbhav Fund
During its annual ‘Smbhav’ event in April, Amazon India launched the $250 million Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund, which will invest in entrepreneurs focused on SMB (small and medium businesses) digitisation, agriculture, and healthcare.
The fund would encourage the finest ideas for digitising small businesses, technology-led agricultural breakthroughs to boost farmer productivity, and enabling ‘universal and high-quality healthcare access for all using technology.’
Along with the investment, the business also unveiled its ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ programme, which met with objections from Indian selling associations. By 2025, it plans to put one million brick-and-mortar shops and neighbourhood stores online through its platform.
The fund took part in a $40 million Series C funding round for investing tech company smallcase. M1xchange, a digital invoice discounting tool for micro, small, and medium businesses, has also received funding.
Dream Sports (parent company of Dream11) announced an initial investment of $250 million in Dream Capital, its venture capital and acquisition arm, in August of this year. Dream Capital will invest $1 million to $100 million in entrepreneurs in the domains of sports, gaming, and fitness-tech, as part of a multi-stage investment strategy.
The firm has made minority investments in SoStronk (a B2C esports platform) and Elevar (a D2C performance sports footwear and equipment brand), as well as the acquisition of Dream Game Studios (previously Rolocule).