Private equity investments witnessed a positive trend in both value and volume terms, with 81 deals garnering USD 2.1 billion in July driven by big ticket deals. According to a Grant Thornton report, following the significant uptrend in July PE investments, the deal tally for the first seven months of this year totalled at USD 11.51 billion, up 20 per cent over the year ago period, thanks to increased appetite for big ticket funding by companies to fuel their expansion plans. "PE deals recorded a robust 37 per cent and 72 per cent increase in volumes and values respectively in July 2018 as compared to July 2017," Grant Thornton India LLP Director Pankaj Chopda said. He further said that large ticket investments to support cross-border acquisition and in focused sectors drove the investments and start-ups, real estate, e-commerce, and pharma, healthcare and biotech were the key sectors during July. Going forward deal activity is expected to be bullish for the rest of the year. "Significant amount of dry powder among global private equity firms and positive reforms in sectors' potential of yielding high returns is expected to make India Inc a favourable destination for PE investments," Chopda said. A sectorwise analysis showed that start-ups dominated investment landscape as this space accounted for 57 per cent of total investment volumes. Fintech and data analytics and AI were the active segments with six deals each, followed by the retail and discovery platform space with five investments each. To fund the largest acquisition of Arysta Lifescience Inc, UPL Ltd raised USD 1.2 billion, marking the largest funding so far in 2018. The report further noted that sectors such as real estate, e commerce and pharma also attracted investments of over USD 100 million, indicating an encouraging trend.