A couple of days ago, logistics start-up Delhivery became the latest member of the billion-dollar valuation club after receiving $413 million from a consortium of investors led by SoftBank. Similarly, US retail giant Walmart had paid a staggering $16 billion for a 77 per cent stake in Flipkart, valuing the e-commerce major at $22 billion.
Flipkart and Delhivery are not exceptions in a country witnessing a boom in funding for internet companies with innovative, scalable businesses. Start-ups in sectors as varying as online commerce, logistics, healthcare, education and financial technology are commanding mind-boggling valuations. Nimble companies with innovative ideas are raising millions of dollars every other day, which brings us to the question, what is the pecking order of Indian internet companies?
The Noida-based digital payments and online commerce start-up is the flagship brand of parent One97 Communications, led by Vijay Shekhar Sharma. The company is in midst of raising $1.5-2 billion from existing investors SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Financial. The latest financing round is expected to boost the payments services company's valuation to $16-18 billion from $10 billion last year.
Starting off in 2010 as a prepaid mobile and DTH recharge platform, the company has subsequently added a host of other services such as e-commerce division Paytm Mall, utility bill payments, travel, movies, and events bookings as well as in-store payments at grocery stores, fruits and vegetable shops, restaurants, parking, tolls, pharmacies and education institutions.
Ride-sharing start-up Ola's valuation touched $6 billion after getting $300 million from South Korean automobile giants Hyundai and Kia Motors last week. Founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola has transformed into one of the largest shared mobility companies in the world with operations in over 110 cities and around a million drivers under its belt. In January, parent ANI Technologies had raised $74 million in fresh funding from a clutch of investors led by Steadview Capital. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank holds around 26% stake in Ola, which also operates in the food delivery business through Foodpanda.
The education technology start-up has witnessed the fastest surge in valuation, rising to $5.4 billion just three months after being valued at $3.6 billion. The latest surge in valuation came after parent Think & Learn Pvt Ltd raised $25 million from existing backer General Atlantic last week. The surge in valuation has made founder Byju Raveendran's 36% stake in the Bengaluru-based company worth $1.9 billion or 132.7 billion rupees. Raveendran had started the company as an offline coaching class for Common Admission Test (CAT) to enter IIMs back in 2007. It transformed into its current avatar as Think & Learn in 2011. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's foundation Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Chinese internet behemoth Tencent are some of the early backers of the start-up.
OYO Hotels & Homes
Hospitality major OYO Hotels & Homes had recently concluded a mammoth $1 billion funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund, propelling the start-up's value to $5 billion. The round had also seen participation from Chinese shared mobility major Didi Chuxing, which signed a cheque of $100 million for OYO. According to reports, the Ritesh Agarwal-led company is in talks to acquire Qianyu, a midsize hotel brand in China. The deal will mark OYO's first acquisition in China, also referred to as the company's second home market. Started in 2013 by Agarwal, the company has since expanded to over 500 cities across eight countries - India, China, Malaysia, Nepal, UK, UAE, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
The fierce competition in the Indian food delivery space makes it difficult to discover exact valuation of companies in the industry, however, a recent HSBC Global Research report has pegged Zomato ahead of rival Swiggy with a valuation of around $3.6 billion. Zomato was founded in 2008 by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah and has expanded to 24 countries since then. The company had recently raised $315 million, which saw participation from Naspers' backed Delivery Hero. Info Edge India, Vy Capital, Sequoia Capital, Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek and Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Financial are some of the prominent investors in Zomato.