Sebi wants more guardrails in startup IPO party

As more startups look to tap the public markets, Sebi is proposing new rules to ensure that IPOs don’t become just an exit window for large investors and there is greater scrutiny on how capital is spent

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By 

Madhav Chanchani

November 17, 2021

4 Min Read

India’s capital markets regulator, Sebi, wants to add more checks and balances as startup IPOs arrive in record numbers to collect seemingly free-flowing cash. 

Already, four Unicorns — Paytm, Zomato, Policybazaar and Nykaa — have mopped up over $5.2 billion from the public markets since July. 

CarTrade and EaseMyTrip have also listed this year, and over half a dozen venture-backed startups, from RateGain, Ixigo, MobiKwik, Oyo and Delhivery to PharmEasy and Droom, have filed for an IPO.

The wave is getting bigger: Looking at the reception in the markets, which seem unbothered by the losses of many businesses, more startups are considering going public. Some view the IPO as an opportunity to give their investors an exit, while others reckon they may get a better valuation once listed.  

But Sebi’s consultation paper, if implemented, may introduce the regulatory equivalent of speed limits. The rules will likely apply to upcoming IPOs, and not the issues that have already happened. Here are the major takeaways. 

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