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Jingle Bell IPOs: India's Startup Resurgence in 2023 and Hope for 2024

This Christmas, let's explore how India's startups triumphed over the challenges of 2023 through IPOs. Unveil the festive resilience and the 2024 forecast for startups gearing up for the stock market in this dynamic Indian startup landscape. Read on.

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Swati Dayal
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As we celebrate a Merry Christmas, we also bid adieu to the challenges of 2023—a year marked by global startup struggles, from funding winters to Silicon Valley fallout. The most valuable gift startups seek from their secret Santas is a resurgence of positive business sentiments. This renewal of trust from investors and consumers alike will undoubtedly invigorate the market, allowing startups to flourish and contribute their innovations to the world.

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As the curtains fall on 2023, the Indian startup landscape stands resilient, having overcome challenges from global tensions and macroeconomic headwinds. Notably, the Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of Indian startups have undergone a significant turnaround, marking a departure from the subdued sentiment of the previous year.

2023 IPOs: A Shift in Momentum

In contrast to the performance of 2022, where only three companies made their mark to launch their IPOs, 2023 witnessed five startups going public. This shift signals a change in investor sentiment and market dynamics.

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Mamaearth's Rise

Honasa Consumer, the parent company of skincare brand Mamaearth, became the 40th Indian mainboard IPO of 2023 in early November. Despite a slow start, Mamaearth's IPO gained momentum, becoming oversubscribed by the end. The skincare brand displayed robust financials, with a notable 94% surge in profit after tax (PAT) and a 21% increase in sales.

As of December 15, Mamaearth's stock price has soared by 25% from its IPO price, showcasing a promising outlook.

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Yatra and Zaggle's Journey

Yatra's IPO, starting slow but ending oversubscribed, entered the market at a discount. Zaggle, too, had a slow start but gained significant interest, especially from Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs). However, its market debut did not result in gains.

As of December 15, Zaggle's shares closed at Rs 245.65 on the BSE, marking a notable 49.78% rise from its listing price.

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2024 Outlook: A Surge in Tech IPOs Anticipated

The ongoing bullish trend in the domestic stock market sets the stage for a surge in new-age tech IPOs in 2024. After a period of stagnation, nearly 40 companies are preparing to go public or become IPO-ready in the fiscal year 2024-25.

Sectors like SaaS, B2C product companies, and Fintech emerge as promising areas due to their substantial revenue streams, sustainable growth trajectories, strong EBITDA, and resilient business models.

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Mixed Sentiments for 2024

While optimism prevails, investors and analysts approach 2024 with caution. High valuations and little profitability in tech startup IPOs prompt investors to carefully evaluate the worth of these companies and their path to profitability.

BYJU'S Challenges

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Once an edtech leader, BYJU'S faces significant challenges, with investors seeking evidence of its ability to address financial losses and strategically navigate a competitive market.

Ola's Unique Position

Ola, focusing on electric vehicles (EVs) and profitability, stands out in the ride-hailing sector. However, concerns linger regarding their ability to navigate the fuel market and outpace industry rivals.

PhonePe's Success and Challenges

PhonePe, thriving within Flipkart's ecosystem, faces challenges in diversifying revenue streams and establishing a distinct identity. Regulatory uncertainties and reliance on Flipkart raise questions about its autonomous trajectory.

Mobikwik's Path

Investors cautiously observe Mobikwik's journey, seeking evidence of a unique market niche, a clear roadmap to profitability, and adaptability in navigating regulatory changes.

What Lies Ahead

In 2023, the global IPO market swung back, with improved Western market sentiment. The emphasis on profitability, driven by limited funding for Indian startups, led to a gradual recovery. A projected estimate suggests 90 new-age companies getting listed by FY28.

Optimism stems from a thriving tech ecosystem, heightened investor interest, rapid digitization, favorable policies, and accessible global market opportunities. However, analysts caution that macroeconomic indicators and sector-specific dynamics will significantly influence investor confidence and decisions in 2024.

With India's tech contribution to public market capitalization at 1%, compared to 25% in the USA, there's considerable opportunity for value generation. The presence of 100 unicorns and over 150 'soonicorns' forms a robust pipeline for startups poised for potential IPOs.

As we step into 2024, the stage is set for a dynamic interplay of challenges and opportunities in the Indian startup IPO landscape.

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