Alpha Wave Global’s shift from big bets to seed shouts


Nikhil Patwardhan

5 reads

Nikhil Patwardhan

5 reads

Alpha Wave has never been shy about making bold bets at aggressive valuations in late-stage companies. Its recent activity, however, signals a shift towards smaller, early-stage investments.

November 08, 2023


Key Takeaways

  • Alpha Wave Global, one of India’s most aggressive late-stage investors and a backer of 11 of the country’s unicorns, has participated in just one deal in 2023
  • The US-based investor is now in talks with a space-tech startup called PierSight to lead the startup’s $6 million seed round
  • Alpha Wave Global’s move to explore early-stage deals follows the lead of Tiger Global, which also shifted its focus to smaller cheques since last year
  • Two of India’s most prolific late-stage investors shifting focus to early-stage deals casts doubt over when and how India’s late-stage investment ecosystem will rebound

Alpha Wave Global, one of the "grandcubs" that trace their roots back to New York-based hedge fund investor Tiger Global Management, has inherited multiple investment strategies from the latter. This is particularly true when it comes to making substantial investments in Indian startups at aggressive valuations.

The two US investors—whose capital has helped propel India to become the world's third-largest hub for startups and unicorns—both began ramping up their investments in Indian startups in 2019. By 2021, their deal-making had reached its fever pitch, with Alpha Wave even outpacing Tiger Global in terms of activity, albeit marginally. While the former engaged in cumulative funding rounds totalling $3.5 billion, according to market intelligence platform Tracxn, Tiger Global's aggregate deal value amounted to $3.43 billion.

Now, even as the funding environment has chilled, the trend of Alpha Wave mirroring Tiger Global's investment strategies appears to have continued. Both Tiger Global and Alpha Wave have significantly scaled back their activity this year, with two deals for Tiger Global and just one for Alpha Wave. 

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