[Representational Image].Foodpanda/ Facebook

Traxcn, the Bengaluru-based research partner of Venture Capitalists, has revealed that acquisitions, early stage investment and restaurant aggregation business models as prominent worldwide trends in its latest report on food-tech startup ecosystem.

The research and analysis firm named India as a major driver of investment and acquisitions, along with China, Germany and the UK, in the global food-tech startup industry, which attracted $ 6.8 billion in 2015.

The 630-page report —which covers investments and acquisitions till June 2016—says that 2015 set a robust trend in mergers and acquisition related activities with 60 deals, and predicts that the trend is likely to continue in 2016.

The report identifies India-based TinyOwl-RoadRunnr as one of the major acquisitions across the world. In June this year, TinyOwl, the Mumbai-based mobile-only food delivery platform, was acquired by the hyperlocal delivery start-up RoadRunnr for an undisclosed amount and rebranded the new company as 'Runnr'.

In line with the global trend revealed by Traxcn, a research done by VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle last year shows that in India, consolidation of companies had already begun in a relatively nascent start-up industry. Onlin kitchen Spoonjoy and restaurant aggregator Dazo already shut shop in October last year.

On the investment front, Traxcn notes that the industry is worth $2.68 billion worldwide in 2016 by far. Early stage investments in food tech startups lead much ahead of seed capital, suggesting that investors are betting on more mature companies than new and smaller firms. Early stage companies were backed by investments to the tune of $544 million, compared to $38 million in seed investments.

Only two Indian firms figured among the 16 cited by Traxcn. India's online grocery supermarket BigBasket, which attracted $150 million from Bessemer Venture Partners and Ascent Capital among others in March 2016, and the grocery marketplace Grofers, which received an investment of $ 120M from Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital and SoftBank were named notable investments.

Taking a closer look at the Indian industry, VCCircle noted that out of 19 Indian startups that raised venture capital funding in 2015, only five managed to raise funding twice.

Traxcn also points to a 29.9% jump in the number of companies founded in 2015 compared to the previous year. In 2015 alone, 569 companies started operations worldwide, compared to 438 in 2014 and 45 companies in 2016 so far, according to the report. The total investment in 2016 stood at $2.6 million at the global level. In India, food ordering platforms, worth $ 6.3 billion, and online groceries, valued at $4.4 billion, were the main business models favoured by the top ten investors, says Traxcn.