13 start-ups joined the unicorn club this quarter, proving that large investments in Indian companies were far from out of style. The star sectors were edtech, which was the most sought after followed by foodtech—attracting 25% and 21% of the funding, respectively. Of all the nascent unicorns, five were from the edtech and fintech sectors. These were findings of the latest quarterly update on startup investment by Nasscom, the Indian tech industry’s trade association.

The new unicorns are Droom (e-seller of automobiles); BharatPe (a fintech company that caters to small merchants and kirana store owners); Grofers (an online grocery delivery service); OfBusiness (raw material aggregator and procurement finance provider); Vedantu (Indian online tutoring platform); Eruditus (upskilling platform for executives); BlackBuck (online trucking platform); Zetwerk (B2B marketplace for manufacturing items); CoinDCX (cryptocurrency exchange); Mindtickle (sales enablement platform); UpGrad (online higher education company); Apna (upskilling platforms), and MPL (online gaming platform).

Overall, Indian startups raised more than $6 billion each for two consecutive quarters in CY21, though the number of deals closed in the third quarter had fallen by 24%, that is there were 121 deals closed in Q3, compared to 160 in the previous quarter.

14 deals of more than $100 million each accounted for 75% of the total funding from July to September 2021. This was the norm for the last two quarters also at 63% and 71%.

But by volume, small ticket size deals dominated. Of 121 deals, 73% were investments amounting to less than $25 million.

Growth and late-stage transactions amounted to 91% of investment activity. This is similar to the second quarter. Then, too, 91% of deal activity went towards growth and late-stage fundraisers. Half of all funding activity was led by late-stage companies, though they represented just 9% by deal count.

Of the $6.1 billion raised this quarter, 77% deals took place in the B2C sector as opposed to B2B—which attracted 23%—or the rest of all deals. B2C start-ups raised more than $4.7 billion across 70 deals this quarter.

Venture funds 3One4 Capital, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global were most active, with 16 deals between them across sectors.

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