The year 2018 was a great year for the Indian startup ecosystem. From close to 7,000 startups in 2008 to over 49,000 startups in 2018, the Indian startup ecosystem has grown exponentially. Moreover, there are 2,000+ startup investors currently active in India and 195+ VC & PE funds, the investments in Indian startups has shot up considerably in the last four years. With the inclusion of Oyo rooms in Unicorn club now India is home to 26 tech Unicorns with a joined valuation of $73.49 Bn
This year a total of 118 acquisition deals were recorded in the Indian startup ecosystem as compared to 129 deals in the previous year biggest being the Flipkart acquisition by Walmart. The most of 118 acquisition deals, the tech enterprises were ranked maximum. And as discussed earlier Walmart’s $16 Bn purchase of a 77% stake in Flipkart was the biggest acquisition deal of the year.
So, as we about to enter 2019 let’s have a quick look back to the top startup acquisition deals in the Indian startup ecosystem that grabbed our attention.
#1 Walmart acquires Flipkart
US retail giant Walmart Inc picked up 77% stake in India’s largest online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion. This deal was the world’s largest e-commerce deal ever happened. The transaction also resulted in the largest exit for private equity and venture capital investors in India.
Although the deal resulted in the exit of Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the deal helped Flipkart in expanding the territory of the US-based Walmart-Amazon e-commerce war to India which is projected to be worth $200 Bn market by 2026.
#2 Walnut Acquired by Capital Float
Fintech SME lender Capital Float acquired personal finance management app Walnut for $30 million in cash or stock deal. Walnut which is previously owned by Pune-based Thumbworks Technologies Pvt Ltd is a personal finance management mobile app, which has seen 7 million downloads in India that help users manages their expenses automatically by tracking the spends, bank card payment, and bill payments etc. in few clicks.
Capital Float also employed Walnut’s credit assessment model, which captures data from alternative sources such as income and purchase capacity, to extend credit lines to new customers.
#3 TongueStun acquired by Zomato
Early September this year Zomato acquired a Bengaluru-based online caterer and office canteen aggregator TongueStun and as per the reports, the deal was valued at 18 Million dollars. With this deal, Zomato took their first step into the B2B segment.
Zomato made one more big deal this year by acquiring drone delivery startup TechEagle for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its delivery service. The company has also acquired Bangaluru based hyperlocal delivery platform Runnr. Zomato has made over 12 acquisitions so far and most of them were made in 2015.
#4 Tapzo acquired by Amazon
Amazon acquired Tapzo in late August this year to give a push to its digital payments platform “Amazon Pay”. Amazon Pay’s Tapzo acquisition is seen as a move to bolster its digital payments business against the likes of Google Pay, Paytm, Flipkart’s PhonePe and WhatsApp’s payment service
Amazon Pay India picked up Tapzo in a cash-and-stock deal valuing the company at $30-40 million, according to two people aware of the development. After the acquisition, Amazon has merged the entire Tapzo team with Amazon Pay, and it will be working in the backend.
#5 Mettl Bought By Mercer
Global HR consulting firm Mercer acquired Indian HR tech start-up Mettl in October this year, which is a data sciences-driven talent assessment and online assessment company, for an estimated 250 crore rupees. US-based Mercer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies and operates in over 130 countries.
Today Mettl assists over 2,000 global companies, 24 Sector Skill Councils, and 15 educational institutes in 80+ countries conduct online skill assessments for hiring and training and development.
#6 HolaChef acquired by Foodpanda
Foodpanda, the online food ordering, and delivery startup which owned by Ola, acquired Mumbai-based, food-tech startup Holachef Hospitality Pvt. Ltd for 9.6 Million Dollars. For Foodpanda, the acquisition was an attempt to test waters in the cloud kitchen space, which its bigger rivals Swiggy and Zomato are already exploring.
#7 Zopper retail acquired by Phone Pe
Payments company PhonePe owned by Flipkart bought the point-of-sale (PoS) business of Zopper, a hyperlocal mobile marketplace for small and medium-sized businesses. The acquisition, which is part of a broader strategy to ramp up its offline business, comes months after PhonePe launched its own point-of-sale device for small merchants.
Zopper founder and chief executive officer Neeraj Jain joined PhonePe, heading its offline merchants business as a part of a deal. PhonePe, which operates on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, currently competes with bigger rival Paytm, the Bhim app, which is owned by the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI), and others in India’s booming digital payments business.
#8 Chillr acquired by Truecaller
Truecaller acquired Chillr, an Indian multi-bank payments app. While the deal size was undisclosed, Truecaller said that with the investment, it gets a fillip to get into the Indian payments space which is seeing players such as Phonepe, WhatsApp and others vying for a piece of the lucrative market.
Chillr founder Sony Joy is now the VP of Truecaller Pay, which certainly has a long way to go to meet its ambitious target of bringing on board a total of 25 Mn users by March 2019, and that too organically. Truecaller Pay is currently active only in India and is onboarding 100K users on a daily basis at present.
#9 TicketNew acquired by Paytm
Online payments firm Paytm has acquired Alibaba-backed ticketing firm TicketNew for an estimated amount of 30-40 million dollars. Paytm, which entered the online ticketing space in March 2016, claims to have sold over 52 million tickets in the last one year through its platform.
#10 Ridlr acquired by Ola
India’s largest cab-hailing firm Ola has bought transportation information provider Ridlr, as it looks to expand its fledgling public transportation business that has become an important battlefront in its fight with arch-rival Uber.