Venture capital investments in India touched $ 10 billion during the pandemic-hit 2020 and as many as 7,000 new startups were founded during the same period, according to a report.
Bain & Company’s latest India Venture Capital Report, released on Wednesday, also said that consumer tech, SaaS, and fintech accounted for nearly 75 percent of the VC (Venture Capital) investments by value, with consumer tech attracting the maximum funding.
As per the report, done in partnership with Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (IVCA), there was a dramatic impact of COVID-19 in accelerating digital trends, which was reflected in VC money flows and the emergence of new and digitally founded business models across sectors.
“While the total deal value declined slightly to $ 10 billion in 2020 from $ 11.1 billion in 2019 due to smaller average deal size, deal volume grew by 7 percent with approximately 810 VC deals versus 755 seen in 2019.
“Growth in deal volume signalled strong fundamentals for India’s start-up ecosystem with new business models keeping pace with the challenges seen in 2020,” it said.
According to the report, India maintained its robust position among the top five startup ecosystems globally, with 7,000 new startups founded in 2020.
It also noted that the country’s startup ecosystem remains strong with “12 additional companies achieving ‘unicorn’ status in 2020, taking India’s unicorn tribe to a total of 37 and only behind the US and China globally”.
Currently, out of the more than 1,10,000 startups in India, around nine percent funded, implying significant room for further investments, it added.
“While 2020 saw $ 10 billion in VC investments, which is the highest ever barring 2019, we also saw a few themes play out differently, especially in terms of smaller deals on average compared to multiple mega-deals seen in 2019… overall, we are bullish on VC investments going forward, given the dry powder available,” Sriwatsan Krishnan, Bain & Company partner and a co-author of the report, said.
Active VC funds in the country that have been on a steady growth trajectory over the last four years reached about 520 last year.
In 2020, VC exists declined by about 70 percent to $ 1.3 billion from $ 4.4 billion in 2019 due to the adverse impact of the pandemic on businesses and VC portfolios not reaching maturity.
One-third of the exit value came from edtech and about 20 percent from foodtech, sectors that also saw a spike in end-user adoption and funding activities during the pandemic, the report said.