Deals in Play: Unicorn and IPO dreams get a reality check, HealthKart’s resurgence, and more


Madhav Chanchani

121 reads

Madhav Chanchani

121 reads

Startups which were set to become unicorns at the start of this year are now closing rounds at more realistic valuations. And while many are still hoping for IPOs, bankers don't see the markets being bullish

October 18, 2022


The mood is grim in India’s startup ecosystem. The numbers for the latest quarter reflect investor sentiment—we’re now in a buyer's market. 

The total number of unicorns minted in the September quarter stood at just 3, as compared to 14 during the same period in 2021. The total quantum of funding raised, meanwhile, stood at just $3 billion—a 57% drop from the June quarter. More tellingly, it is 80% lower than the peak funding of $14.9 billion raised in the same quarter last year, according to startup tracking platform Tracxn. 

But amid this funding gloom, there are still signs of life. Activity has started picking up at the very early stage with firms like Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Matrix Partners recently signing term sheets. At the same time, Tracxn was able to finish its IPO—the smallest among venture capital-backed companies since the markets opened up last year. Many more are planning to try their luck, including travel startups Oyo and Ixigo. 

Bankers The CapTable spoke to, however, said market sentiments remain weak. “All the companies will need to significantly reset their valuation expectations. Also, any listings looking to raise over Rs 4,000-5,000 crore are not likely to go through given the choppiness in global markets,” said a merchant banker.  

Quarterly Funding

Graphic: Winona Laisram

In this edition of Deals In Play, we bring you three scoops. Yes, there aren’t as many active deals to write about at the moment :)

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