The Indian startup ecosystem continued to thrive in 2021 and during the first quarter of 2022. However, a sudden decline in funding, especially for larger deals, and the number of unicorns and ESOP buybacks in April indicated a slowdown where home-grown startups struggled to raise capital compared to previous months.
Indian startups have raised $2.65 billion across 121 deals in April, a 33.75% decline from $4 billion in the previous month, according to our data tracking platform Fintrackr. This includes 33 startups in their growth stage and 88 early-stage deals. During the last month, 21 startups did not divulge their transaction details.
In Entrackr’s monthly funding report, here are details of the top 10 deals in both the growth stage and early-stage investments in April.
The details of all 142 deals can be found here.
Top 10 growth stage deals
A total of 33 growth and late-stage startups scooped up $2,189.5 million or $2.18 billion in April 2022. DailyHunt’s parent VerSe Innovation was the top fundraiser with a $805 million round, followed by bike taxi platform Rapido’s $180 million round, crypto exchange CoinDCX’s $135 million, proptech player Isprava’s $130 million, and SaaS startup’s Oberve.ai’s $125 million.
During April, Insurtech platform Turtlemint had raised $120 million at a valuation of around $900-950 million whereas online eyewear retail player Lenskart raised $125 million in its ongoing Series I round.
Top 10 early-stage deals
Around 88 early-stage startups raised funds worth $465.73 million during April as compared to $455 million in funding across 96 deals in March. The top 10 early-stage investments include cricket NFT startup Rario which raised $120 million, fintech startup Recur Club’s $30 million round, SaaS startup Everstage’s $13 million round and fintech startup Vested Finance’s $12 million round.
The average deal size also saw a decline in April. As per Fintrackr’s analysis, the average deal size of disclosed fundings was recorded at around $21.7 million in April which was $31.7 million in March, $25.4 million in February and $26.5 million in January this year.
The average deal size for the entire 2021 stood at around $29 million.
No unicorns and ESOP buybacks in April
While March saw four startups turning unicorn, no startup managed to gain unicorn status in April. So far, 15 startups have entered the coveted club in the first four months of 2022. To recall, there were 8 unicorns in April 2021 and an overall 43 in the entire year.
According to a report published by HDFC Securities, accelerated funding activity is expected to create over 100 unicorns in India during 2022. Of late, Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar estimated that India may have more than 1,000 unicorns in the next two to three years. In January, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also said that the startup fraternity should nurture 75 more unicorns in 2022. But the trend seen so far this year does not support the predictions made by the report and government ministers.
In March, over half a dozen startups including Pine Labs, Nobroker, CoinSwitch Kuber, Rebel Foods, Fleetx, Krystal.Ai and Jupiter had announced ESOP buyback or liquidity program. However, there were no startups on this list in April.
City wise deals
Bengaluru was on top in terms of the number of startup deals and the amount raised in April. The startups based out of the city raised around $1.6 billion across 59 deals or 60% of the total amount raised in the period. During the period, Delhi-NCR-based startups led the pack, raising over $390 million across 33 deals; they were followed by Mumbai, Jaipur and Chennai with 25, 4 and 3 deals respectively.
Fintech was the top segment in terms of the number of fundraising instances in April with 20 deals followed by SaaS, healthtech and D2C brands. The complete breakdown of deals across segments in April can be seen above.
In April, homegrown startups had recorded around 15 mergers and acquisitions deals as compared to 29 in the previous month.
The acquisition of GlowRoad by Amazon, Singularity Automation by Stanza Living, Active.Ai by Gupshup, Y-Cook by Dehaat were some of the notable deals on the list.