Investments continue to flow into India’s consumer Internet space with start-ups having raised closed to $5 billion in the 10 months to October. That’s a good 42% lower than the amount mopped up in the corresponding period of 2019, as data from market research firm Tracxn shows.
Nonetheless it’s an excellent haul given the disruption caused by the pandemic. Ed-tech, gaming, food delivery and e-grocery have been clear beneficiaries of the prolonged lockdown and investors have been quick to cotton on to them.
Byju’s has picked up $1 billion, taking its valuation to a staggering $11 billion while Unacademy became a unicorn post a $150 million raise.
The sector is expected to see high growth; a report by TiE Delhi NCR-Zinnov showed that 55 million had signed up for ed-tech services between January and August.
Investors continue to keep their faith in Zomato which has mopped up $278 million and rival Swiggy has attracted $156 million.
Smaller players like FreshToHomes too have found support; the company has got some $121 million. Among those in the market are e-grocer BigBasket which is believed to be shopping for $400 million. For their part, Internet businesses have been quick to adapt to the new situation post the pandemic while addressing the needs of consumers. Without doubt more consumers have been transacting online during the lockdown; Grofers claims it has acquired 18 lakh new customers since lockdown while at BigBasket new customers increased by 84% compared to pre-Covid levels.
“Covid has accelerated digital adoption and this excites investors,” Ishpreet Gandhi, founder & managing partner at Stride Ventures said, adding that international investors are betting on India as global interest rates are at all time low and also there is political uncertainty,” Gandhi said.