Indian startups record 119 M&As in 8 months
In many ways, 2021 has been a record-breaking year for the Indian startup ecosystem. It has already seen 22 startups becoming unicorns within the first eight months. Not only that, the ecosystem is setting new benchmarks in terms of mergers and acquisitions too.
The number of M&As since January stands at 119 compared to 86 such deals in the whole of 2020, according to YourStory Research. The cumulative transaction size of M&As this year is $3.8 billion, up from $1.3 billion in 2020.
Edtech decacorn BYJU'S has led this consolidation. This year alone, it has spent over $2 billion to acquire seven startups across India and the US.
The strong M&A momentum in the ecosystem can also be attributed to Indian startups acquiring established businesses. Deals include stockbroking platform Groww buying out the mutual fund business of Indiabulls, merchant payments unicorn BharatPe taking over Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank), and medtech startup Pharmeasy buying out diagnostics chain Thyrocare.
The last one was the first instance of a unicorn acquiring a listed entity in a deal valued at Rs 6,334 crore.
The year has also been big for Tata Digital, which has followed up its acquisition of Bigbasket with the buyouts of 1MG, and a strategic investment in Mukesh Bansal-led Curefit.
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News & Updates
- Stellaris Venture Partners announced the closing of its second fund at $225 million. The fund did a first close in April and was fully subscribed within 45 days. With this fund, Stellaris Venture Partners now has over $300 million in assets under management.
- Pureplay Skin Sciences, which operates three D2C brands, including Plum and Phy, is looking to deepen its hold as a more mass offerings brand by revamping Phy into a gender-neutral label.
- Bharat ATM, a rural banking platform that offers banking services to small merchants and customers through its assisted banking app, plans to bring around 20 lakh outlets in its fold by the end of the next year. It has onboarded 4.5 lakh small merchants, covering 14,645 PIN codes.
- Launchpad Advisory and accelerator management company Applyifi have collaborated to launch Applyifi-Launchpad — an accelerator fund that will provide Rs 75 lakh ($100,000) capital and deep-engaged mentoring to MVP and pilot-stage startups.
- Dream Sports, the parent company of India's only gaming unicorn Dream11, has set up a $250 million corporate venture capital (CVC) fund to invest in sports, online gaming, and fitness-tech startups in India.
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Exfinity Venture Partners Chairman V Balakrishnan is an established figure in the IT industry.
“The increased inflow of capital has triggered M&A activity as startups are looking at leadership positions. Startups are willing to take a higher risk through M&A for market leadership or acquiring skillsets.”