scorecardDeal Tracker: PE investments fall by 30% to $1.7 bn in September quarter, BFSI rules the roost
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Deal Tracker: PE investments fall by 30% to $1.7 bn in September quarter, BFSI rules the roost

Deal Tracker: PE investments fall by 30% to $1.7 bn in September quarter, BFSI rules the roost
Business4 min read
  • The September quarter of 2023 saw a total of 40 deals valued at $1.7 bn, which is a fall of 30% in value terms.
  • A total of 30 private equity deals were executed in the BFSI space, cumulatively valued at $566 million.
  • Investors show preference for credit-based financial companies with strong profitability metrics, but are still hesitant to make new investments until they gain more confidence.

Unicorns are likely to become scarcer as the funding winter is nowhere near over. The go-go days of private equity investments may be well behind us going by quarterly data on deals. With two of the biggest private equity players not committing any money to India’s startups this year, both volume and value of deals are on the downswing. The September quarter of 2023 saw a total of 40 deals valued at $1.7 bn, which is a fall of 30% in value terms. Private equity investors are looking at exits rather than investing in new businesses.

However, investor interest is holding up in the banking and financial services sector. In the last quarter, a total of 30 private equity deals were executed in the sector, cumulatively valued at $566 million. Among these transactions, fintech claimed the spotlight with a 30% share in terms of deal volumes, even though sequentially value and volume showed a dip. However, banking and non-banks rule the charts with respect to values, contributing a 77% share in overall investments.

According to the Grant Thornton Bharat Financial Services Dealtracker Report, volumes have seen a 23% decline, from 52 deals last quarter. The slowdown is only seen in private markets as public markets continue to shine bright, with India outperforming other emerging markets in the region this year. According to the Dealtracker Report, investors are showing interest in credit-based financial companies with strong profitability indicators, but they are still hesitant to make new investments until they gain more confidence.


Vivek Iyer, Partner, National Leader Financial Services Risk Advisory, Grant Thornton Bharat, said, “As we navigate a landscape marked by increasing interest rates and global inflation, the balancing act of central banks becomes crucial to maintaining economic stability. The recent pause in interest rate hikes in India’s monetary policy meetings reflects this cautious approach, especially in the face of global uncertainties and geopolitical factors. What stands out is the evolving investment trend, with private equity funds focusing on primary investments in fintech, banks, and NBFCs, particularly in areas where capital defines growth Strategy.”

It is apparent that investors are now looking at profitability and sustainability of the business model. According to Grant Thornton, investors are no longer chasing growth and valuations. Instead they are looking for clear and achievable paths to profitability.

Mergers and Acquisitions landscape: The M&A landscape witnessed 10 deals at $1.1 billion. While volumes fell by 9% from the previous quarter, values saw an upsurge of 2047%. Domestic mergers accounted for 60% of the volumes, while cross-border transactions, particularly in the inbound sector, contributed to 60% of the values in the M&A activity. The top deal was Rapyd Financial Networks Ltd.’s inbound acquisition of PayU Payments Pvt Ltd for $610 million.

Private Equity (PE) landscape: According to Grant Thornton’s report, trends point to a build up of investor interest in fintech, banking, and non-banking financial company (NBFC) sectors. In the last quarter, a total of 30 deals were executed in the PE sector, cumulatively valued at $566 million. This marks a 27% and 76% decline in volumes and values respectively as compared to the previous quarter. Among these transactions, fintech claimed the spotlight with a 30% share in terms of deal volumes.

However, banking and NBFC segments took center stage with respect to values, contributing a 77% share. Bain Capital’s investment of $176 million was the top deal in the PE landscape. While private equity funds have been actively involved in exit strategies across various segments, data suggests a renewed interest in fresh investments. Rather than pursuing new acquisitions, most PE funds have been channeling their capital into existing investments, bolstering their positions and financing expansion initiatives in the evolving financial landscape.

Initial Public Offering Activity: Two IPOs were launched, collectively valuing a substantial $186 million, marking a change in comparison to the previous quarter when no IPOs were observed. Further, the quarter saw three QIPs amounting to an impressive $1.2 billion. Notably, the banking sector played a dominant role in the QIP market, contributing a significant 54% to the overall QIP values for the quarter. This uptick in IPO and QIP activity shows a growing investor appetite and interest in the sector’s offerings.

Global investors are showing increased interest in financial services, particularly lending- focused businesses, due to elevated global interest rates. Key areas for credit growth in India include affordable housing, MSMEs, and education. The insurance sector is also poised for growth with regulatory changes and global standards gaining prominence, although substantial investments are yet to come. Fintech remains attractive to investors, but data privacy, influenced by the DPDP Act, 2023, will significantly impact the financial services sector, particularly fintech companies, prompting a re-evaluation of their operational strategies.

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