Even as the turbulence around the startup ecosystem continues to dry the much-needed funding from venture capitalists, Indian startups have clocked a record $9.5 billion, or about Rs 70,600 crore, of exits in 2021.
Exits, partial or full, by existing investors of startups through initial public offerings (IPOs), mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and secondary share sales jumped nearly eight times this year up to December 10 from just $1.2 billion, or about Rs 8,900 crore, in 2020.
According to market research data, this is the highest amount of exits Indian startups. The exit number for 2019 was $2.9 billion across 82 deals while the same in 2017 was $2.4 billion through 88 deals. In 2018, $14.8 billion worth of exits happened across 113 deals.
Among the top names includes food delivery major Zomato, e-grocer BigBasket that has been acquired by the Tata Group, and taxi aggregator Ola.
Besides a flurry of IPOs, 2021 also saw the mega $4.7-billion merger of PayU and BillDesk through which investors like General Atlantic, Temasek, and TA Associates snagged an exit of $2.2 billion, the data showed.
Online fantasy gaming platform Dream11 and omnichannel kids-focused retailer FirstCry executed secondary share sales of around $400 million and $300 million, respectively, to give many of their investors partial or full exits. Around $2.5 billion worth of exits came through IPOs this year, up from $113 million in 2020, as per Venture Intelligence data.
While IPOs and big M&As were standout themes this year, secondary share sales in large financing rounds also occurred, triggering liquidity for investors and founders, too, in some cases.