Startup funding velocity at record high amid bubble fears

At 57 $100-million fundraises this year and more than 100 startups that have raised at least two rounds in the past 12 months, the funding momentum isn't showing any signs of slowing. But investors and entrepreneurs worry if this bubble could lead to unintended consequences

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By 

Madhav Chanchani

September 14, 2021

7 Min Read

Groww made a splash in April when its valuation quadrupled to $1 billion merely five years into existence and with not much to speak of by way of revenue. Five months on, it’s looking to raise $250 million at a valuation of $2-3 billion.

The mutual fund and stock investing app was valued at $200-250 million in September last year. Its rocket speed growth since then has been fuelled by global investors viewing it as India’s answer to Robinhood, which recently listed in the US. 

Given that Zerodha, Groww’s closest rival in terms of user base, is bootstrapped, “where else will global investors go if they want to invest $50-100 million in this space in India,” asked an  investor briefed on the latest fundraise. Another investor confirmed the developments. 

When contacted, a spokesperson for Groww declined to comment. 

Like Groww, several other homegrown startups, keen not to miss out on the ongoing investment boom, too have been raising back-to-back rounds of funding. Since September 2020, 111 startups have closed two or more funding rounds, show data curated by Venture Intelligence for The CapTable. 

This is happening across sectors. Startups that recently raised multiple funding rounds include social media platforms Dailyhunt and ShareChat; business-to-business commerce firms OfBusiness and Infra.Market; payment companies BharatPe, Cred and Razorpay; e-pharmacy and healthcare player Pharmeasy; and Apna, which helps companies hire grey and blue-collar workers. 

To top that, India’s startup sector has recorded 57 fundraises of $100 million or more over the past year, which is becoming more commonplace now.  

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