Why investors remain bullish on India’s start-up outlook for 2022

A restaurant advertises using the Paytm digital cost system in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, July 17, 2021.

Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

India’s know-how start-ups will proceed to draw capital from each personal and public markets subsequent 12 months as they develop and mature, buyers instructed CNBC.

There was a notable shift within the nation’s start-up surroundings in 2021, with a number of high-profile firms making their inventory market debuts. These embody meals supply app Zomato, funds large Paytm and the parent company of online insurance aggregator Policybazaar. Extra start-ups are within the IPO pipeline, together with ride-hailing company Ola and Indian hotel chain Oyo.

Indian tech start-ups additionally raised a report quantity of capital from personal fairness and enterprise capital companies. These buyers pumped in $28.2 billion price of tech investments this 12 months throughout 779 offers, in accordance with info offered by Asia personal fairness and enterprise capital intelligence supplier, AVCJ. That marked a 200% soar in capital in contrast with the $9.4 billion invested final 12 months.

Rajan Anandan, managing director at Sequoia Capital India, instructed CNBC this month that the enterprise agency is “very bullish” on India’s know-how ecosystem and its skill to generate long-term worth for stakeholders.

“The success of firms in each home and worldwide exchanges has positively led to elevated curiosity from buyers internationally,” Anandan mentioned. Sequoia Capital India noticed eight portfolio firms make their inventory market debuts in 2021, he added.

“It has validated the truth that massive firms may be constructed from this area — and create important shareholder worth. And with a number of promising IPOs lined up for subsequent 12 months, we anticipate this development to proceed,” Anandan mentioned.

Investor urge for food for brand new tech IPOs

The reception of a few of India’s high tech IPOs has various amongst buyers. Whereas Zomato shares made a stellar debut and are up round 5.44% from their first day of buying and selling on July 23, Paytm is down greater than 13% from its Nov. 18 debut.

One other digital funds firm, Mobikwik, delayed its IPO following Paytm’s disappointing begin. As such, there was rising scrutiny into fintech firms and their skill to generate income and finally earnings, native media stories mentioned.

Nonetheless, there’ll doubtless be urge for food for future IPOs, in accordance with Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of Indian brokerage platform Zerodha. The larger query, nonetheless, could be how these firms would fare in the long run, he instructed CNBC.

Kamath identified that most of the tech start-ups, together with a few of people who have gone public, stay overvalued.

“Majority of those [companies] are usually not worthwhile and so they do not appear to be they are going to be within the subsequent 4 or 5 years, so, it is a bit onerous to justify the valuation,” he mentioned.

When a start-up, buyers ought to separate the corporate’s valuation — which is set by the general public market — and its fundamentals, in accordance with Sandeep Naik, head of India and Southeast Asia at international funding agency Common Atlantic.

Chatting with CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” earlier this month, Naik mentioned early-stage and growth-stage buyers have made some huge cash in India during the last two years. That is partly due to exits, he mentioned, which allowed them to pump further capital into India’s tech ecosystem and assist start-ups develop.

An exit occurs when a founder both sells their start-up to an even bigger firm or takes it public by means of an IPO.

Zomato meals supply companions in Kolkata, India.

Debarchan Chatterjee | NurPhoto | Getty Pictures

“The final 18 to 24 months, you have got seen the variety of IPOs which can be taking place, the businesses within the IPO pipeline, the way in which firms have traded and so they have come out, which supplies you an amazing validation that the worldwide capital markets are our area as one of the crucial engaging areas to put money into development,” Naik mentioned.

What’s subsequent?

Whereas start-ups are anticipated to proceed attracting capital in 2022, the tempo of fundraising and development might decelerate comparatively.

That is as a result of there was a number of pent-up demand this 12 months round funding rounds that had been scheduled to occur in 2020, however had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in accordance with Amit Anand, founding companion at Jungle Ventures.

“If I take all of the fundraisings which have occurred this 12 months and perhaps unfold that throughout 2020 and 2021, then the image appears to be like completely different,” he instructed CNBC.

The image nonetheless exhibits India as a rising market, however factors to regular, longer-term year-on-year development as an alternative of a one-off spike, Anand defined. For worldwide buyers like Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, he mentioned India is a strategic market and bets are typically made for the long term.

“That is all credit score to the native entrepreneurs and the native investor base that has constructed the ecosystem to a degree the place it is ready to entice that sort of international capital as a result of the expansion charges are there and the maturity of the companies [is] there,” Anand mentioned.

Sequoia’s Anandan added that unprecedented liquidity as a consequence of ultra-accommodative financial insurance policies from international central banks helped take fundraising ranges in 2021 to new heights.

India’s market can be getting deeper and the standard of expertise is enhancing, he mentioned. The pandemic accelerated tech adoption, which has resulted in lots of start-ups rising a lot quicker than earlier than — and so long as they’re capable of present scale, funds will proceed to movement in, Anandan mentioned.

Nonetheless, there are some headwinds that start-ups must navigate, each when elevating funds and when coming into public markets. That features navigating a gradual financial restoration in India and inflation stress in addition to coverage normalization from international central banks like the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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