2024: The year of IPOs for Indian startups; PW’s online course enrollment surges 182%

Experts feel that 2024 might be the comeback year for startup IPOs. PhysicsWallah noted that the number of online paid orders rose to 24 lakh in 2023 from 8.5 lakh in the previous year. IRS officer Shubhrata Prakash speaks to HerStory about her struggles with anxiety and depression.

2024: The year of IPOs for Indian startups; PW’s online course enrollment surges 182%

Saturday January 06, 2024,

6 min Read

Hello,

Going public has become the “in” thing for Indian startups.

Gurugram-based fintech Mobikwik followed in the footsteps of Ola Electric, Mamaearth, and FirstCry and refiled its draft red herring prospectus with SEBI to raise Rs 700 crore through an IPO. This will be a fresh issue of equity shares with no offer-for-sale component.

Mobikwik had earlier filed for a Rs 1,900 crore issue in 2021.

These IPOs are expected to give a much-needed boost to the Indian startup ecosystem, which continues to be in the grip of the funding winter. The first week of the new year saw a venture capital inflow of only $61 million across 13 deals. 

In 2023, Indian startups raised only $10.8 billion—a 53% decline from 2022 and the lowest amount raised in 7 years.

Meanwhile, SEBI has instructed institutional investors to disclose upfront if they are short-selling before placing the order and asked brokers and stock exchanges to make this information public. The development comes in the aftermath of the Hindenburg report into the Adani Group and the Supreme Court’s direction to SEBI to investigate if any short positions went against the law.

Speaking of the Adani Group, Gautam Adani is back to being Asia’s richest person, reclaiming the top spot from Mukesh Ambani.

Oh, and wood may make it to smartphones. 

Created 30 years ago, transparent wood could soon find its way to super-strong screens in smartphones and can even be used in colour-changing windows. Here’s how it works.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • 2024: The year of IPOs for Indian startups
  • PW’s online course enrollment surges 182%
  • An IRS officer’s struggle with mental health

Here’s your trivia for today: Which Central American country has a name which translates to English as “The Saviour”?


In-depth

2024: The year of IPOs for Indian startups

2023 hasn’t been a blockbuster year for Indian startups in the IPO markets. However, experts feel that 2024 might be the comeback year for startup IPOs as founders have understood that the market rewards profitability and predictability based on past experience.

As of now, startup unicorns such as Ola Electric and FirstCry have already filed their IPO papers with market regulator SEBI.

Market bound:

  • Today, there are several factors which are in favour of startups that are aiming for an IPO. At the same time, there has been a sharp learning curve for startups where the business focus is on sustainable growth with a clear goal of achieving profits.
  • The data from the financial portal Chittogarh shows there were 58 IPOs in 2023 on the mainboard of the stock exchanges as against 40 in 2022 and 63 in 2021.
  • Ola Electric has already filed its DRHP with an aim to raise Rs 5,700 crore, while FirstCry aims to garner Rs 1,816 crore.
IPO


Top Deals of the Week

Startup: Country Delight

Amount: $20M

Round: Series E

Startup: Captain Fresh

Amount: $13.25M

Round: Series C

Startup: Wiz Freight 

Amount: $11.24M

Round: Series B


Edtech

PW’s online course enrollment surges 182%

Edtech unicorn PhysicsWallah (PW) has experienced significant growth in online learning, with an 182% surge in enrollment for online paid courses in 2023 compared to the prior year. The Noida-based firm noted that the number of online paid orders rose to 24 lakh in 2023 from 8.5 lakh in the previous year. 

Positive growth:

  • This points to a strong inclination among students to choose online courses in the post-pandemic era, a period marked by growth in both offline and hybrid learning spaces.
  • Speaking at TechSparks 2023 in September, Pandey revealed that the company experienced notable growth in its online business despite a shift of students towards the offline channel.
  • The edtech firm said it currently has 4 crore YouTube subscribers, with 1.5 crore new additions in 2023. Across its 81 YouTube channels, it has accumulated 275 crore views and achieved 20 crore hours of watch time throughout the year.
PhysicsWallah

PhysicsWallah growth. | Illustration credit: Chetan Singh


Interview

An IRS officer’s struggle with mental health

In 2006, after the birth of her first baby, Shubhrata Prakash remembers feeling hysterical and suicidal. Living in Chennai during that time, the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer was aware of post-partum depression. This was the beginning of Prakash’s long and arduous struggle with mental health, and understanding the importance of seeking help. 

The IRS officer speaks to HerStory about her struggles with anxiety and depression and her journey of raising awareness on mental health.

Healing:

  • Prakash became a strong advocate of raising awareness on mental health and wrote a book, The D Word – A Survivor’s Guide to Depression, which chronicles her personal experiences and lists resources for those in need.
  • She continues the advocacy through articles and posts on social ideas, is building a small community on WhatsApp, and runs a support group where a lot of colleagues have reached out for help for themselves, family, or others.
  • She also believes community mental health programmes have to be strengthened at all levels as the problem is multi-layered and needs intervention at multiple levels.
shubhrata prakash


News & updates

  • Under scrutiny: The Competition Commission of India is investigating domestic units of global delivery companies DHL, United Parcel Service, and FedEx, for alleged collusion on discounts and tariffs. It has begun reviewing hundreds of thousands of emails as it investigates the fees companies charge for airport services.
  • Shaky ground: Major Chinese shadow bank Zhongzhi Enterprise Group has filed for bankruptcy on the grounds it was unable to pay its debts, raising concerns of further turmoil in China's real-estate landscape. Shadow banking, which is unregulated, is not subject to the same kinds of risk, liquidity, and capital restrictions as traditional banks.
  • American Dream: Investors ploughed $123.1 billion into cash in the seven days to Wednesday, marking the largest such inflow since March 2023 and a record for the first week of a year, Bank of America said in a report. BofA said investors bought $10.6 billion of bonds and $7.6 billion of stocks, but they shed $0.8 billion of gold.  


Which Central American country has a name which translates to English as “The Saviour”?

Answer: El Salvador.


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