Added To Cart: The List Of Top Investors In The Indian Ecommerce Arena

Added To Cart: The List Of Top Investors In The Indian Ecommerce Arena


The booming Indian ecommerce sector has raised an impressive $32.5 Bn+ through 1,668 funding deals since 2014, solidifying its position as a leading force in the country's startup ecosystem

Despite trailing the enterprise tech sector in terms of funding deals, ecommerce has experienced exponential growth, minting 24 unicorns and remaining an attractive proposition for investors

Indian ecommerce startups secured $1.09 Bn in funding across 87 deals in the first half of 2023

Since its humble beginning at the dawn of the 21st century, the homegrown ecommerce sector has emerged as a powerhouse, solidifying its position as a frontrunner in the Indian startup ecosystem. Cradling some of the most valuable Indian startups, the ecommerce space has raised an impressive $32.5 Bn+ through 1,668 funding deals since 2014.

These remarkable figures place the sector at the forefront in lapping up capital investments that have trickled into the world’s third-largest startup economy in the last decade.

Despite trailing slightly behind the enterprise tech sector in terms of the number of funding deals, ecommerce is a dominant force in the Indian startup realm.

Since the rise of Flipkart in 2007, one of the earliest startup success stories in the country, the ecommerce sector has refused to look back and has only grown by leaps and bounds, giving the country the blessing of as many as 25 unicorns.

Even amid the challenges posed by the ongoing funding winter, Indian ecommerce startups have continued to be attractive to investors. In the first half of 2023, ecommerce startups managed to secure an impressive $1.09 Bn in 87 deals. This noteworthy achievement highlights the resilience and attractiveness of the ecommerce sector, as investors recognise its immense growth potential.

As more and more Indians connect to the internet and own smartphones, the industry expects a further boost in the coming years. It is this thesis of a huge total addressable market (TAM) that has led to investors pumping billions of dollars into the sector. 

Curiously, the biggest investors, in terms of capital disbursed, in the ecommerce space have been foreign VC firms. These entities not only bring capital but also years of experience across multiple geographies and mentorship to help the homegrown ecommerce space scale further. 

At a time when so much is happening in the country’s ecommerce space, it gets even more crucial to understand the source of support boosting this segment. With this in mind, Inc42 has compiled a list of the top ecommerce investors who have played a key role in giving the sector a much-needed boost.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list or ranking of any kind. We have placed investors in alphabetical order. We update this list periodically if you wish to nominate investors for this list, email us at [email protected] 

Here Are The Top Investors In The Indian Ecommerce Arena

1. 9Unicorns

A brainchild of Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, 9Unicorns operates as a sector-agnostic accelerator venture capital firm. 

It has so far raised a single $100 Mn fund and has a portfolio of 147 startups. It has invested in 22 ecommerce startups so far, including Power Gummies, TagZ, and Melorra.

The VC firm has two unicorns in its portfolio – ShipRocket and Vedantu. 9Unicorns has had five exits so far, with notable ones being ANSCommerce, MyFitness and Mitron.

2. Accel

Accel India is known as one of the first global investors that saw an opportunity in the Indian ecommerce landscape. After its entry in India at the turn of 2005, when the internet and smartphone penetration was scarce, Accel India placed its first major bet on, what was then a small ecommerce startup, Flipkart for a paltry sum of $800K. It heaped big returns when eventually the biggest name in the Indian ecommerce space was acquired by Walmart for $21 Bn. 

In a story that mirrors Sequoia India, Accel India took over a $10 Mn early stage fund called Erasmic Venture Fund, led by Subrata Mitra, Prashanth Prakash, Mahendran Balachandran and Gagan Kumar, in 2008. The entity would eventually be rebranded as Accel India, which has ecommerce at the core of it.

Leveraging its initial bets, the VC firm has continued to shore up its investments in the homegrown ecommerce ecosystem. As per Inc42 data, Accel India is the second-biggest investor in the burgeoning space with around 46 investments. 

It counts ecommerce companies like Myntra, Zetwerk, Urban Company, Infra.Market, and CaptainFresh in its portfolio. 

The VC firm has so far unveiled seven India-focussed funds, with a cumulative portfolio valuation of well over $100 Bn as of mid-2022. 

3. Alteria Capital

Founded in 2017 by Ajay Hattangdi and Vinod Murali, Alteria Capital is a Mumbai-based venture debt fund. Since its establishment, Alteria Capital provided funding to more than 90 startups, including Spinny, Cars24 and BharatPe.

Alteria Capital primarily participates in funding rounds spanning from Series A to Series D, with investment amounts ranging from $100K to $15 Mn. The fund offers a debt recovery period of 12 to 36 months.

Within the ecommerce sector, Alteria Capital boasts an impressive portfolio, including Jumbotail, Dunzo, Dealshare, Furlenco and Rentomojo, among others.

This year, Alteria Capital expanded its portfolio by adding Bengaluru-based B2B food and ecommerce startup Jumbotail. This strategic investment aimed to support Jumbotail in enhancing its sourcing capabilities and implementing AI-driven technologies to significantly increase customer wallet share and achieve a 100% boost in net revenue.

4. Better Capital

Established by Vaibhav Domkundwar in 2016, Better Capital specialises in early stage investments in technology startups, particularly those focussed on solving real-world challenges.

In 2017, the firm initiated its investment journey by providing support to the fintech startup Khatabook.

Better Capital has backed over 200 Indian startups since its inception, which boast of a cumulative valuation of $7 Bn. The firm boasts an extensive investor base consisting of more than 700 individuals and has minted two unicorns, Zepto and Darwinbox, within its portfolio.

In the ecommerce space, Better Capital has extended its support to startups such as GOAT Brand Labs and ShopKirana.

5. Blume Ventures

Back in 2010 when VC funding was still a new construct for the nascent Indian startup ecosystem, the duo of Sanjay Nath and Karthik Reddy realised that there was a huge gap in the investor ecosystem. The startup founders either had to approach angel investors or VC giants such as Sequoia or Tiger Global, and there was nothing in between. 

Nath and Reddy decided to bridge this gap and that’s how the VC firm took birth. The idea was to come in as an angel investor but approach the startup as an institutionalised investor, offering mentoring, continuous funding and other strategies to budding entrepreneurs. 

This approach has yielded good results for the VC firm, which is one of the biggest ecommerce investors in the country with 24 ecommerce deals. It counts names like Cashify, Milkbasket, and Purple among its ecommerce portfolio. 

Blume Ventures has a portfolio of 237 companies, including five unicorns – Instamojo, Spinny, Unacademy, Ola, RailYatri and TricogHealth. It has had 42 portfolio exits to date, the most notable being Zomato, Milkbasket and Little Black Book.

6. Fireside Ventures

Another VC firm on the list of top 10 ecommerce investors is Fireside Ventures. It has so far invested in 25 ecommerce startups. 

Founded in 2017 by Kanwaljit Singh, Kannan Sitaram and Dipanjan Basu, and later joined by Vinay Singh, Fireside’s portfolio includes big-ticket D2C brands such as boAt, IPO-bound Mamaearth The Sleep Company, Yoga Bar (recently acquired by ITC), Bombay Shaving Company, and Kapiva. 

It largely invests in seed to pre-Series A rounds (average ticket size of up to $2 Mn), and has assets under management (AUM) to the tune of INR 3,000 Cr. The VC firm has so far raised three funds and has made 78 investments, the most recent being in Solethreads Footwears. 

Fireside has 34 companies in its portfolio, of which four are unicorns. The VC firm has had three major exits, including KWIK24, Pipa.Bella and Blink, and is bracing for a windfall with the potential public listing of Mamaearth. 

“I think we are always going to be measured investors. That’s our DNA. I think we will still do only seven to eight deals in a year, despite seeing so many more startups. We will spend enough time to get comfortable with the idea and the founding team. And, of course, the insight. That doesn’t change,” said Vinay Singh in a recent chat with Inc42.

7. Kalaari Capital

Also known as the ‘bulwark’ of the Indian ecommerce space, venture capital (VC) firm Kalaari Capital has the distinction of identifying and investing early on in two major Indian ecommerce giants – Flipkart and Snapdeal.

The brainchild of serial entrepreneur Vani Kola, and Intel executives Vinod Dham and Kumar Shiralagi, Kalaari started off as IndoUS Venture Partners in 2006, launched in partnership with Silicon Valley VC giant New Enterprise Associates (NEA). 

With an initial fund of $190 Mn, the founders began scouting for new-age Indian tech startups, anticipating the ecommerce and internet boom in the years to come. Eventually, NEA and Dham parted ways with IUVP, as Kola and Shiralagi began a new inning for the firm under a new identity – Kalaari Capital – in 2012 with another $162 Mn fund. 

Its early bets included some of the biggest Indian ecommerce players including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra (acquired later by Flipkart), lingerie brand Zivame, furniture platform Urban Ladder, D2C jewellery brand Bluestone and edtech startup Simplilearn. 

As per Inc42 data, the VC firm is the fifth biggest ecommerce investor in the country, with 26 investments in the space so far since 2014. 

Overall, Kalaari Capital has so far made 225 investments in the Indian startup ecosystem, the most recent being a $10 Mn infusion in Digantara. Kalaari has made 28 exits to date, and has five unicorns under its belt.

8. Kunal Shah 

After the windfall from the acquisition of his venture Freecharge by Axis Bank in 2017, Kunal Shah’s next venture was CRED. While he is better known as an entrepreneur, he is also an active angel investor in the Indian startup ecosystem.

Shah is the sole angel investor in this list of top ecommerce investors in the country. With 24 ecommerce deals, the CRED founder is tied with full-fledged VC firm Blume Ventures as one of the most active investors in the homegrown ecommerce space. 

Shah has invested in a host of Indian ecommerce startups like UpScalio, Evenflow, Mensa Brands, and Zippee. 

Overall, he has so far invested in more than 150 businesses across diverse areas, including big names such as Unacademy, Spinny, Razorpay, and Slice. Shah has had 12 exits, including Voonik, Avail Finance, and Dailyninja. 

9. Sequoia Capital

Three decades after it was founded in the US, Sequoia Capital entered India with the acquisition of Westbridge Capital Partners. In the same year, it rebranded the company as Sequoia Capital India and made a big splash in the homegrown startup scene after the rebranded entity raised a mammoth $400 Mn fund to fuel the Indian startup story. 

Since then, Sequoia has handheld the Indian ecosystem in terms of funding and mentorship and has emerged as the biggest venture capital firm in the process. The life somewhat came full circle in 2023 as it rebranded itself as Peak XV Partners

During the 17-year period, Sequoia India & SEA raised 13 funds and invested in more than 400 startups. Of these, 50 startups entered the unicorn club while its portfolio saw more than 19 public listings. 

With $4.5 Bn worth of realised exits so far, the investment firm, which invests right from early stage startups to late stage giants, has emerged as the biggest winner from the Indian startup boom.  

Notwithstanding the regret of not investing in Flipkart, Peak XV Partners is one of the biggest backers of ecommerce startups in India. As per Inc42 data, the VC firm is the biggest ecommerce investor in the country, having participated in 63 deals. Meesho, Freecultr, and troubled startup Zilingo are among the popular ecommerce names in its kitty. 

10. Sixth Sense Ventures

Founded in 2014 by Nikhil Vora, former managing director of IDFC Securities, Sixth Sense Ventures touts itself as the country’s first domestic consumer-centric venture fund. Since its inception, the firm has raised three separate funds in 2016, 2018 and 2021 with a fund size of INR 118 Cr, INR 515 Cr and INR 2,603 Cr, respectively.

With consumer-facing brands as the focus, Sixth Sense Ventures has so far invested in 25 homegrown ecommerce brands. 

The firm has so far invested in startups such as Veeba, Soothe Healthcare, BIRA, Vahdam Teas, and The  Ayurveda Co. 

Sixth Sense Ventures has invested in 57 companies so far and has a unicorn in its portfolio in the form of The firm has so far secured 30 exits so far, including Smaaash Entertainment, Parag Milk Foods and Grab.

11. Tiger Global Management

Just like its other US-based peers, the crossover fund veered into India somewhere around 2007. Come 2014, the VC firm was well-prepared to leverage the startup boom that the country witnessed. With 48 unicorns and 18 soonicorns in its kitty, Tiger Global has been one of the prolific ecommerce investors in the country. 

The firm is the third-biggest ecommerce investor, having participated in 38 deals. It counts ecommerce giant Flipkart, and all major B2B ecommerce platforms like Infra.Market, Moglix, OfBusiness, Udaan and Zetwerk, among its key investments. 

While the VC firm has more or less put its investment activity on the back burner in 2023, it has been reaching out to LPs to raise funds. Earlier this year, Tiger Global raised $2.7 Bn for its new fund, which, however, fell short of its initial target of $6 Bn. 

Other notable Indian companies in its portfolio include Zomato, CRED, ShareChat, Urban Company, and BharatPe.

12. Titan Capital

Launched in 2019 by Snapdeal’s cofounders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Titan Capital has successfully raised over $10 Bn from more than 100 institutional investors since its inception.

While Titan Capital is not confined to a specific investment stage, it predominantly favours participating in the seed funding stages of its portfolio companies. Furthermore, the firm places a strong emphasis on the founders’ vision, prioritising it over immediate revenue and product metrics when making investment decisions.

A sector-agnostic investment firm, Titan Capital allocates its resources to startups across various industries, including consumer internet, D2C brands, SaaS, and more.

Currently, Titan Capital operates not only in India but also in the US. The firm has provided crucial support to numerous startups in this industry. Among the notable ventures in Titan’s ecommerce portfolio are Apna Mart,, and Dealshare.

To date, Titan Capital boasts a diverse portfolio of over 200 startups worldwide. One of its most recent additions is Boxs, a manufacturer specialising in interior products.

13. Venture Catalysts

Venture Catalysts is one of the biggest homegrown seed stage investment firms in the country. Founded in 2015 by Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Anil Jain, Anuj Golecha and Gaurav Jain, Venture Catalysts invests in early stage startups across a range of sectors such as IoT, AI, adtech, virtual reality, education, ecommerce and retail.

The firm has invested heavily in the Indian ecommerce space and is one of the biggest investors in online marketplaces and allied domains. The early stage investor has so far participated in 35 ecommerce funding deals, emerging as the fourth biggest investor in the ecommerce ecosystem.

Its ecommerce portfolio companies include DegPeg, Desi Farms, Dukaan, Beardo, among others.

In total, the company has so far launched five funds spanning multiple sectors and has pumped in over $100 Mn in Indian startups so far. With a combined portfolio of more than 315 startups, the cumulative valuation of its portfolio companies was pegged at around $10 Bn late last year.. 

Venture Catalyst has two unicorns under its belt and has had 15 portfolio exits so far, including ANS Commerce and Fynd.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list or ranking of any kind. We have placed investors in alphabetical order. We update this list periodically if you wish to nominate investors for this list, email us at [email protected]

Update | September 27, 2023

The article has been updated to include more investors in the list. 

Note: We at Inc42 take our ethics very seriously. More information about it can be found here.

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