While the concept of private equity and venture capitals were present in the country in many forms since the 1960s, the industry saw growth mainly after economic reforms in 1991. The vibrancy and rapid growth rate of the industry has attracted global attention in the last decade. The value of private equity deals across the country in 2019 was about 19.42 billion U.S. dollars making it a promising destination for global investors. Moreover, as individual wealth in India burgeons, more people have been interested in alternative investment paths. In 2019, over 360 billion rupees was invested by Indians as part of private equity funds in alternate assets.
The world’s largest ecommerce deal in 2018 was with Walmart’s acquisition of the Indian e-retailer Flipkart aggregating over 16 billion U.S. dollars. Investors have continued to repose their faith in India’s startups and other homegrown ventures, setting new records each year. And as the country’s PE/VC sector moves towards global norms, the size as well as the complexity of deals has been growing as well. Some of the sectors that have benefited most from private equity and venture capital funding are the technology, financial services and infrastructure and real estate businesses. Furthermore, the highest funding value and volume in the Indian infrastructure sector was recorded in 2019.
Similarly, PE/VC exit activity has also picked up pace in the country. Between 2016 to 2019, PE/VC exits have raised over 50 billion dollars showing a stellar performance. While open market exits have witnessed a revival, secondary and strategic deals that were the primary drivers of the sector have been slowing down. Global business uncertainties along with liquidity concerns in the Indian market may have led to this change in exit strategies.