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Funding Fables: 2023's Startup Journey of Highs, Lows, and Resilience

Indian startups faced a funding downturn in 2023. With a 72% drop from 2022's $25B, discover the impact on late-stage, early-stage, and unicorn growth. Uncover key trends in acquisitions, e-commerce dominance, and the emergence of 2023's unicorns.

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Swati Dayal
New Update
Startup Funding Report

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In a contrasting trend from the previous year's robust performance, Indian startups collectively secured $8.2 billion in funding in 2023, signifying a significant 72% decrease from the staggering $25 billion raised in 2022. This shift signals a notable change in funding dynamics, moving away from the growth-at-all-costs model that had previously dominated the startup ecosystem.

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Late-Stage Startups Bear the Brunt: 70% Decline in Capital

India Unicorn Report 1

Late-stage startups bore the brunt of this downturn, witnessing a staggering 70% decline in capital raised compared to the previous year, as highlighted in the India Tech Unicorn & Exits Report 2023.

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Diverse Declines Across All Stages

The funding decline was widespread, affecting startups at all stages. Early-stage startups experienced a 68% reduction, while seed-stage startups saw a 57% decrease in funding, showcasing the pervasive nature of the funding challenges faced by the Indian startup ecosystem.

97 Funds Raised, Totaling $15.8 Billion in 2023

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Despite the challenges, a total of 97 funds were raised in 2023, amounting to $15.8 billion. This figure indicates a decline in overall funding activity, reinforcing the impact of the changing funding landscape.

India Tech Unicorn Report 2

E-Commerce Dominates # Rounds in 2023: Bengaluru Leads

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E-commerce emerged as the dominant sector for funding rounds in both 2022 and 2023. Bengaluru-based startups led the way, securing the most funding rounds in 2023.

Top Funded Late-Stage Startups

The top-funded late-stage startups in 2023 included PhonePe, a Fintech company securing $850 million. Other notable names in this category were Lenskart, Udaan, Zepto, Perfios, OlaElectric, Grey Orange, Zetwerk, KreditBee, and Mintifi.

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Top Funded Early-Stage Startups

Meanwhile, early-stage startups that secured top funding included Insurance Dekho, Sarvam.ai, BLU Smart Mobility, Battery Smart, NXT Wave, SpotDraft, Scapia, eloelo, Mayhem Studios, and Wiom.

Unicorn Status Achieved Faster: Average 5.5 Years in 2023

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A notable shift was observed in the time taken for startups to achieve unicorn status, with the average duration decreasing from 8.4 years in 2022 to 5.5 years in 2023, according to the Orios Venture report. However, only two new unicorns emerged in 2023, accompanied by a decline in acquisitions from 229 in 2022 to 123.

India Tech Unicorn

India Ranks Third in Unicorn Births: 15 Public Listings

India ranks third globally in the number of unicorns birthed, with 15 public listings from the new wave of startups, contributing to the country's evolving startup landscape.

India Tech Report 3

Only 2 New Unicorns Emerges in 2023

Breaking a hiatus, Mumbai-based Zepto became a new unicorn in August 2023, securing $200 million in funding led by StepStoneGroup at a valuation of $1.4 billion. The other unicorn of 2023 was Incred.

Profitability Trend: 23 Unicorns Operating in the Green

In 2023, 23 unicorns prioritized profitability, setting the stage for IPOs. Reports indicate that 13 unicorns are planning to go public in 2024, reflecting a strategic shift towards sustainable growth.

India Tech Unicorn Report

Top Acquisitions in 2023: Exits Include OLX Auto, Texts, Plix, Edamama, TrillionLoans

The exits in 2023 saw notable acquisitions, including OLX Auto's sale to CarTrade for $67 million, Texts' sale to Automattic for $50 million, Plix's sale for $45 million to Marico, Edamama's sale to Reliance Retail for $44 million, and TrillionLoans' sale to BharatPe for $36 million.

2023 marked a challenging yet transformative year for Indian startups, with a focus on sustainability, faster unicorn status achievements, and evolving funding dynamics shaping the future of the ecosystem.

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