Indian startups raised $12.1 billion from venture capitalists and private equity firms in the first six months this year, beating the last calendar year's overall funding by $1 billion, data compiled by Venture Intelligence shared with ET showed.
The continued flow of funds at steep valuations helped catapult a record number of startups into the unicorn club—privately held companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more, reports the Economic Times.
Fuelled by the increased adoption of digital technology across businesses following the Covid-19 pandemic, more funds have lined up to back young and evolved startups, said venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and industry insiders.
The data showed that in the last six months there were more $100 million-plus funding rounds, where late-stage startups raised bigger rounds at headline-grabbing valuations.
Some of the marquee fundraising deals in the January-June period included those by edtech leader Byju's ($1 billion), food delivery platforms Swiggy ($800 million) and Zomato ($576 million), regional language social media app ShareChat ($502 million) and fantasy gaming startup Dream11 ($400 million).
There were 31 such deals in the first half of this year, compared to 19 in the second half of 2020. In the first half of 2020, there were nine $100 million-plus deals.
"While global investor interest in leaders in the Indian consumer tech landscape has consistently been strong, we are now seeing multiple software businesses coming out of India…raise $100 million-plus growth rounds," said Shweta Bhatia, partner and head of technology investments for India at Eight Roads Ventures.
There were in total 382 VC deals amounting to $12.1 billion in the six months ended 30 June. In comparison, 764 deals amounting to $11.1 billion were closed for the full year ended 31 December, 2020. In 2019, there were 873 deals amounting to $13 billion, while 747 deals totalling $10.8 billion took place in 2018, the data showed.