The Indian tech startup ecosystem is again moving towards market correction this year. According to the Inc42 Datalabs’ Indian Tech Startup Funding Report H1 2018, till June 22, $3 Bn was invested across 372 deals — a 47% decline in the total funding amount and a 17% drop in the number of deals as compared to H2 2017. Also, M&A activities showed a 28% decrease, with only 54 M&A deals finalised in H1 2018.
Although this may seem like bad news, it’s not the entire story. Unlike the funding winter of 2016, things are not as gloomy as they may appear from an absolute point of view of the M&A activity and funding numbers.
H1 2018 marked the biggest acquisition for the Indian tech startup ecosystem, with Walmart placing a $16 Bn bet on Indian ecommerce company Flipkart. Now, with Microsoft, Walmart, Tencent, and Tiger Global at one end, Amazon at the other, and Alibaba poised in the third spot with Paytm Mall, the stage is set for Indian ecommerce to emerge as a battleground for global players.
Also, the Indian startup ecosystem added four new unicorns in H1 2018 — Paytm Mall, Policybazaar, Swiggy, and BYJU’S — with many more queued up for glory. Paytm Mall and Swiggy bagged a whopping $445 Mn and $310 Mn in total funding, respectively, so far this year.
Further, if we compare the Q1 2018 and Q2 2018 figures, there was an increase in both the funding amount as well as the number of deals in the second quarter till June 22.
Indian Tech Startup Funding Report H1 2018: An Overview
- H1 2018 maintained the ongoing trend with seed stage startups raising $183.75 Mn across 179 deals
- Ecommerce ($786.87 Mn across 49 deals) and fintech ($631.29 Mn across 70 deals) were the two top sectors in terms of funding amount and the number of deals, respectively
- Bengaluru retained its top spot with 119 deals, but witnessed a 49% decline in the number of deals in H1 2018, compared to H2 2017, followed by Delhi/ NCR and Mumbai
- According to projections based on Inc42 DataLab’s time series data, H2 2018 is expected to witness about $4.8 Bn in funding across 503 deals
Startups: Fuelling The Digital Transformation Of India
The Indian economy, along with the startup ecosystem and other industries, are currently on unsure yet exciting grounds. On one hand, the RBI’s clear stance on crypto is awaited, while on the other, the completion deadline for the Walmart-Flipkart deal has shifted to June 2019 — hinting at a long wait.
Further, different state governments, while prepping for the 2019 mega general election, are brainstorming on how they can notch higher ranks in the DIPP’s State Startup Ranking Framework. Even Jammu and Kashmir, which has seen political unrest for decades on end, recently released its startup policy and is even organising camps to train future entrepreneurs.
The southern Indian state of Kerala is betting big on its electric vehicle (EV) policy, while Karnataka is going along with blockchain and AI, and Rajasthan is all set to launch India’s biggest startup incubator — the Bhamashah Techno Hub — which will offer state-of-the-art incubation facilities to more than 700 startups.
Meanwhile, increased collaborations between the Indian startup ecosystem and those of Israel, the UK, and SAARC nations are also going to be to the advantage of all the involved parties in the near as well as long-term.
With regards to funding, India is now home to more than 200 incubators and 70 accelerators, with over 200 VC firms driving startup communities in metros and non-metros from the seed stage to the growth stage.
All in all, despite some lows and the lack of clear guidelines across sectors, India is advancing steadily towards its digital transformation. The startup ecosystem is playing a critical role here, bringing in innovation and disruption in much-needed areas, creating jobs, and offering technological solutions to all kinds of problems, thereby improving the lives of people.
Disclaimer: We are constantly updating our database of startups. Due to new startups of various domains being updated, previously reported deals and amounts might vary.