Investors pump $9 billion into Indian startups in 2015 – that’s 50% of the past 5 years’ total deal value 

Emmanuel Amberber

2015 was year of a risk capital bonanza for Indian startups. Between January and December 2015, risk capital worth $9 billion was invested in Indian startups across 1,005 plus deals where deal value was announced, according to YourStory data. To put this in perspective: between 2010 and 2015, Indian startups raised $18 billion.

In 2014, total deal value stood at about $5 billion and volumes at over 300 deals. The first two quarters of the calendar year as well as the last quarter saw similar amounts being invested: $1.7 billion each in Q1 and Q4 and $1.8 billion in Q2. However, Q3 was the blockbuster quarter in terms of the amount of investments, with deals worth $3.8 billion.

A majority of the deals fall in the online and mobile categories. This is not surprising considering the number of Internet users in India has crossed the 350 million mark, growing 50 per centover the last year, according to a study by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.

Q1 highlights

Online doctor’s appointment booking venture Practo raised its Series B and C in quick succession and went on an acquisition spree , buying healthcare startups Qikwell , InstaHealth and Fitho and product outsourcing firm Genii. It also announced its global expansion by entering markets like Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Budget accommodation startup Oyo Rooms was another startup that showed a sudden growth spurt. Oyo raised two rounds of funding in 2015 and expanded rapidly in terms of both number of hotels and geographies. Mobile recharge company Freecharge raised a Series C round in Q1, then got acquired by Snapdeal in Q3.

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Startup name

Sector

Round

Amount (in $)

ShopClues

Ecommerce

Series D

100000000

FreeCharge

Mobile

Series C

80000000

BillDesk

Finance

PE

75000000

Manthan

Enterprise

Series D

60000000

Antuit India

Enterprise

PE

56000000

CarDekho

Marketplace

Series B

50000000

Meru Cabs

Transportation

PE

50000000

RateGain

Enterprise

PE

50000000

NewsHunt

Mobile

Series C

40000000

Caratlane

Ecommerce

Series D

31000000

LimeRoad

E commerce

PE

30000000

Practo

Healthcare

Series B

30000000

OYO Rooms

Marketplace

Series A

25000000

Faaso’s

Food

Series B

20000000

Q2 highlights

In Q1, Ola acquired smaller rival TaxiForSure, thus solidifying its market share. It then went on to raise two massive rounds of funding. India’s enterprise software poster child Freshdesk raised a Series E round and later brought in LinkedIn India’s MD Nishant Rao as COO. The SaaS company also made its first acquisition by buying out video chat and co-browsing platform 1CLICK.io in August and in October bought out social recommendation platform Frilp. Online babycare and kids wear retailer Firstcry joined the club of startups that raised multiple rounds of funding in a calendar year by announcing a $26 million round of funding in February, followed by a $10 million investment in April.

Online classifieds portal Quikr was another venture that made some big moves in 2015. Apart from raising a large round of funding, Quikr shifted its headquarters from Mumbai to Bengaluru, launched verticals like Quikr Cars and Quikr Homes and started acquiring companies.
 

Startup name Sector Round Amount (in $)
Olacabs On-demand cabs Series E 400000000
Quikr Online Classifieds Series G 150000000
Ecom Express Logistics Series C 137000000
Delhivery Logistics Series D 85000000
Freshdesk Customer Support Series E 50000000
Homelane Home Furnishing Series B 50000000
Urban Ladder Online Furnishing Series C 50000000
Applied Solar Technologies Solar Power Series B 40000000
PolicyBazaar Insurance marketplace Series D 40000000
FirstCry eCommerce Series D  36000000