India poised for record VC year as unicorns head for decisive IPOs

Public market liquidity and macro tailwinds lift the country’s startup ecosystem

In case you’ve not been paying attention, we’ll say it again: The global venture capital industry is on fire. The second quarter of 2021 was the largest single three-month period on record for dollars invested.

The data coming in points to a worldwide boom. The United States’ startup market had a huge Q2, and investors don’t expect the pace to slow in the country. Europe is also having one hell of a year. Around the world, 2021 is shaping up to be a breakout year for venture investment into startups. And that’s after several years of growing, record-breaking results.

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India is another good example of this trend. The country’s venture capital haul thus far in 2021 has nearly matched its 2020 total and is on pace for a record year. But as the third quarter gets underway, something perhaps even more important is going on: public-market liquidity.

The new trend is being spearheaded by Zomato, an Indian food delivery giant that could be valued at $8.6 billion in its public debut. Other major Indian unicorns are following it to the public markets, including fintech players like MobiKwik and Paytm, which is backed by Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial. The trio of companies could herald a rush of public offerings from Indian companies if their debuts prove lucrative and stable.

Today, The Exchange is taking a look at India’s recent venture capital results and digging more deeply into the country’s IPO pipeline, with help from VCs Kunal Bajaj of Blume Ventures and Manish Singhal of pi Ventures. We’ll also read the tea leaves when it comes to how Zomato’s IPO is performing thus far, and what we can learn from its early data. This will be fun!


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