Money flowed into Indian startups in 2021 like never before. The ecosystem broke all the previous records in terms of fundraising and minting unicorns during the 12 month–period. According to data compiled by Fintrackr, total investments that flowed into Indian startups stood close to $38 billion in 2021. This is over three times more than the $11.1 billion in total funding that startups received during 2020.
Fintrackr’s data further shows that 1,391 startups mopped up $37.98 billion across 1,625 deals in 2021 which included 380 growth and late-stage startups and 948 early-stage startups. Among them, 297 startups, mainly early-stage, did not disclose their deal size.
Deals in Q1, 2021
In Q1 2021, 230 Indian startups across all stages (excluding undisclosed rounds) raised around $4.07 billion. Byju’s, Dream11, Udaan, Zomato [now a public company], Uniphore, BharatPe, Zetwerk, boAt and Infra.Market were among the top 25 growth and late-stage startups deals in the first quarter of 2021.
The same period also saw four startups attain the coveted unicorn status. The list includes Digit insurance, Infra.Market, Innovaccer and Five Star.
Details of the 1,625 funding rounds can be found here.
The top 25 funded early-stage startups during the first quarter included fintech startups Dot, Virtual event organiser Hubilo, Crypto investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber and fintech startup Zolve. CoinSwitch Kuber went on to become a unicorn in October that year.
In Q1, more than 49 startups, mainly early-stage, did not disclose the details of their funding round. The list includes Revfin, Zouk, Kiko TV, Raise Financials, Little Black Book, Agnikul, Anar, Instoried among others.
Deals in Q2, 2021
The second quarter of 2021 or Q2 saw higher quantum of investments with 268 startups raising more than $8.6 billion in total. Byju’s, Swiggy, ShareChat, PharmEasy, Meesho, PineLabs, Delhivery, Urban Company, Zeta and CRED were among the top 25 funded startups.
The quarter also minted a record 11 unicorns of which eight came in April alone. This list included companies such as Meesho, CRED, PharmEasy, Groww, ShareChat, GupShup, ChargeBee, Urban Company, Moglix, Zeta and Browserstack.
As for the top-funded early-stage startups during this time period, Mensa Brands, 10club, FamPay, Jai Kisan and Kutumb were part of the list. Mensa further went on to raise another round during the same year to become the fastest unicorn of India.
In Q2, 68 startups did not disclose their funding details.
Deals in Q3, 2021
The quantum of money that came in shot up tremendously during the third quarter with 408 startups across stages raising $12.3 billion — of which companies such as Oyo, Eruditus, Meesho, Ola, Swiggy, Dailyhunt, Cars24, Unacademy, PineLabs and BharatPe were top contributors.
The third quarter also saw 13 startups attaining the unicorn status, two higher than the previous quarter. This list includes Blackbuck, OfBusiness, Droom, BharatPe, Mindtickle, CoinDCX, Eruditus, Apna and Vedantu.
During Q3, GlobalBees, CredAvenue, Upscalio, Heads Up and Tails and Goat Brand Labs were the top-funded early-stage startups. Where GlobalBees raised another round to become a unicorn, CredAvenue became the largest Series A funded startup in India in terms of equity funding.
During this period, 100 startups did not disclose their financial details.
Deals in Q4, 2021
Fourth quarter witnessed the highest amount of fundraising. According to Fintrackr’s data, 422 Indian startups raised around $12.93 billion, over 600 million higher than the previous quarter. The top growth and late-stage funded startups in the quarter include Byju’s, Ola, Cars24, Dream Sports, Ofbusiness, ShareChat, Razorpay among others.
During Q4 2021, a whopping 15 startups attained a unicorn status — highest when compared to any other quarter in 2021. Licious, CoinSwitch, Cardekho, MobiKwik, Pristyn Care and most lately GlobalBees joined the coveted club.
In the early-stage startups, Uni, Zepto, Zolve and Reshamandi were some of the top-funded startups. Ten-minute grocery delivery startup Zepto raised another round during the quarter at a valuation of $570 million.
The period also saw 80 undisclosed rounds which majorly included early-stage deals.
Contribution of 43 Unicorns in the total funds raised in 2021
Interestingly, per Fintrackr research, the 43 startups that turned unicorn during the year collectively raised $12.46 billion in total funding —which was more than 32% of the total funding amount raised in 2021.
With $913 million, ShareChat was the largest funded startup among all unicorns of 2021. Meesho, OfBusiness, PharmEasy and Eruditus were the next in the top five funded unicorns of this year with $870 million, $822 million, $700 million and $650 million respectively. Also, more than 60% of all unicorns of 2021 raised two or more rounds in 2021. The list includes OfBusiness, Apna, Spinny, Meesho, CRED, PharmEasy, upGrad, Zetwerk, Licious, BharatPe and GlobalBees.
This report can be downloaded in PDF here.
Segment-wise startup deals
In terms of segments, fintech was on top with 186 deals in which startups raised around $5.07 billion. But, the total amount of investment raised by edtech startups during the year was higher at $5.78 billion across 141 deals. D2C, SaaS and healthtech were in the list of top five funded segments in the last year.
City wise startup deals
City wise, startup hub Bengaluru was on top with 647 number of deals followed by Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai with 431, 271, 63 and 48 deals respectively.
Bengaluru was also on top in terms of producing unicorns and the headquarters of 14 of the top 25 funded startups in 2021. The city is the home of 19 startups out of 43 that turned unicorns in 2021. This list includes Digit, Meesho, CRED, ShareChat, Groww, Zeta, Zetwerk, MPL and Apna. Notably, Bengaluru-based startups have mopped up more than 53% [$20.2 billion] of the total funding raised in the year.
Delhi NCR is on the second spot which has given unicorns like Urban Company, OfBusiness, Droom, Spinny and MobiKwik in 2021. Mumbai has produced unicorns like PharmEasy, Gupshup, upGrad, CoinDCX, Rebel Foods and Upstox.