The Harvard-based professor shared insights on the Indian startup ecosystem at a webinar organized by Agility Ventures
Agility Ventures, one of the leading Angel Investors Networks in the country, organised a Fireside Chat on the topic: A US perspective on Indian Startup Ecosystem on Saturday. Prof Viney Sawhney, a Harvard-based professor, who is an expert in private equity, venture capital (VC) and investment banking, described the Indian venture capital (VC) scene as stunning.
While giving details about the US perspective on the Indian Startup Ecosystem, he said, “India is not new territory for the US-based VC investors. The country has seen a dramatic escalation in dollar terms that has been invested in the last year-and-a-half. The growth doubled as far as unicorn count is concerned and that I think has spurred and attracted a lot of attention here in the US. As soon as the news started to trickle from the Indian press and other reliable financial and governmental resources that India is not only receiving significant VC dollars, but is also having a home run as far as the unicorns are concerned, I started receiving lots and lots of phone calls from hedge fund managers, pension fund managers and institutional investors, who typically have always shied away from India.”
Dhianu Das, co-founder, Agility Ventures and angel investor, presided over the webinar and noted that Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had also met 160-plus startups in the country on Saturday. Calling startups the backbone of the country, PM Modi declared that January 16 would now be celebrated as National Startup Day. Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal added that they should target and add 75 unicorns this year.
Prof Sawhney informed that India had surpassed a record level of investments in the year 2021, touching an all-time high of almost about $42 billion. He also added that by funding a record number of unicorns, which is more than the total of 2020 and 2019 combined, has put India on the world map as far as the VC scene is concerned. He also rattled out the latest startup figures according to a survey till December 31, 2021. These include 1436 startups being launched in 2021, 1583 funding deals being recorded in 2021 and Bengaluru topping as the numero uno city in the country as a startup hub with maximum deals in 2021. While 2487 investors participated in the startup funding, $42 billion were raised by Indian startups in 2021.
Prof Sawhney concurred, “India deserves to get a lot more than $42-billion in the VC space. The potential for India is simply stunning and we have not even scratched the surface as yet of what is yet to come.”
Meanwhile, Agility Ventures has received approvals from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for an angel fund with a total corpus of the angel fund is INR 450 crore (USD 60 Million). It is also looking to deploy the entire corpus in the next 3-4 years.