India’s Startups Wrap Up 2019 On A High Note

India’s Startups Wrap Up 2019 On A High Note

In venture capital, funding can start as a trickle and then wind up as a flood.

To that end, as estimated by the research company Tracxn, India-based tech startups attracted a record amount of funding from investors – $14.5 billion last year, better than the $10.6 billion seen previously.

And drilling down into the numbers, there were a total of 1,185 financing rounds, 459 of which were Series A rounds, funded by 817 investors. And the $6.9 billion raised for pre-Series A funding, such as through angel financing, eclipsed the $3.3 billion for companies at those early stages, according to a report, citing data from InnoVen. InnoVen also reported that early-stage startups saw a 22 percent jump in 2019 in the deals they attracted.

By vertical, logistics startups raised $641 million, while lodging firms gathered $1.7 billion. Tracxn reported that the number of FinTech deals came in at 160. The data shows that Sequoia Capital was active in the most funding rounds, with participation in 50 investments or co-investments.

Drilling Down Into FinTech

It should be noted here that the fund flows into FinTech, as estimated by PYMNTS – spanning sectors that include payments, logistics and others – came in at $7.9 billion. The top FinTech deal came with a $1 billion investment in Paytm through T. Rowe Price and others. Beyond that headline, eCommerce player Udaan raised $585 million from Tencent, Altimeter and others. That top deal outpaces Berkshire Hathaway’s $300 million investment in One97 that was seen in 2018.

As measured by PYMNTS, eCommerce was the top sector within the Indian FinTech space at $1.3 billion, followed by logistics at $1.2 billion.

And in terms of individual deal activity, within the last two weeks, SoftBank’s Vision Fund invested $275 million in online-to-offline eyewear firm Lenskart. The eCommerce firm said it will use the capital to boost its supply chain infrastructure.

Separately, and within logistics, Adani Ports paid the equivalent of $41 million to acquire a stake of a bit more than 40 percent in Snowman Logistics. As noted in commentary provided by the company and reported via, Karan Adani, CEO and whole time director of Adani parent company APSEZ said, “The acquisition is in line with our strategy and vision to be a leader in providing integrated logistics services in India and moving from port gate to customer gate. Cold chain is key product in customer gate strategy given India’s consumer-driven demand. We will double the capacity in the next five years.”

The new year has also seen some traction. As reported this week, within B2B, there were $33 million worth of FinTech-related deals in India, including for Aye Finance. The company secured more than $14 million in debt funding led by BlueOrchard. And separately, within logistics, XpressBees, as recounted by PYMNTS, got $10 million from Alibaba.