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2021 could finally be the year of India’s tech IPOs as startups like Zomato, Delhivery, Policybazaar head for the public markets

2021 could finally be the year of India’s tech IPOs as startups like Zomato, Delhivery, Policybazaar head for the public markets
  • India’s startups are planning to open the floodgates of IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) in 2021.
  • Multiple Indian startups like Zomato, Delhivery, Policybazaar, Freshworks, Flipkart, Nykaa are reportedly eyeing the public markets in 2021.
  • India’s market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) too is looking to ease norms to facilitate startup IPOs in the country.
The blockbuster IPO debuts like that of Mrs Bector, Burger King, Happiest Minds in the Indian stock markets this year has only led to the country’s emerging tech startups gear up the confidence to knock the doors on the public markets.

2020 is also headed to an end with two hot tech IPOs in the US stock market – Airbnb and DoorDash and the success of those IPOs will surely have an impact on Indian investors and their belief on technology startups.

"The Indian IPO market has realised the potential of startups which are disrupting traditional businesses or ways of doing business and garnering large market share in different segments. Recent IPOs by Route Mobile, Happiest Minds, CAMs or Burger King have all been oversubscribed many times and debuted with high multiples,” said Anup Jain, Managing Partner, Orios Venture Partners.

Multiple Indian startups like Zomato, Delhivery, Policybazaar, Freshworks, Flipkart, Nykaa are reportedly eyeing the public markets in 2021, many others like BYJU’S, Pepperfry haven’t yet set a timeline but too are getting ready for a big, fat IPO debut.

The Indian government too seems to be welcoming of tech IPOs. India’s market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up an Innovators Growth Platform (IGP) and has recently announced a consultation paper seeking comments for new rules that will encourage startups to head for IPO.

Here’s a look at the startups reportedly heading for an IPO in 2021

“There are certain tailwinds which are pushing startups towards IPO for fundraising and to provide investors with a healthy exit. The new norms announced by SEBI such as easier migration to the main board, decreased holding period, and special rights have made IPO more lucrative,” said Ankur Bansal co-founder and director, BlackSoil.


Startups preparing for an IPO

Current Valuation

Zomato

$3.9 billion

Policybazaar

$1.5 billion

Nykaa

<$1 billion

Flipkart

$24.9 billion

Delhivery

$1.5 billion





Zomato

Zomato
BCCL

One of the most-talked about IPOs would be that of Indian foodtech unicorn Zomato. Currently valued at $3.9 billion, Zomato has also closed a pre-IPO funding of $660 million. With the latest round 10 new investors including Tiger Global, Kora, Luxor, Fidelity (FMR), D1 Capital, Baillie Gifford, Mirae, and Steadview joined Zomato’s board which already had the likes of Info Edge, Ant Financial, Temasek etc.

According to reports, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal in an email to his employees said that the company is looking to list publicly in the first half of 2021.

Even while Zomato faced the test of times in 2020, it also brought the food tech startup closer to profitability. VCs believe this ability to bounce back from a crisis where companies even saw no revenue, would only give startups more strength to face the unforgiving public market. “Startups also emerged as winners post-lockdown with increased adoption by consumers while low investor confidence has forced startups to fine tune business models towards profitability, making them more appealing to retail Indian investors,” Bansal told Business Insider.

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Flipkart

Flipkart
BCCL

One of the most-talked about companies that could also hit the public market is Walmart-owned Flipkart. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has often hinted about Flipkart’s IPO debut, which would reportedly be worth $10 billion.

The Indian e-commerce giant which was last valued at $24.9 billion could head for an overseas IPO. This fits in well with what VCs in India expect of India’s tech IPOs. Jain believes that IPOs in India would be better off for startups that are valued at less than $5 billion. “India public markets have acquired the level of maturity and depth of coverage to support IPOs of this size very easily. Beyond this, the IPOs would probably be better off in overseas markets,” he said.

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Policybazaar

Policybazaar
Policybazaar/FB

India’s insurance unicorn Policybazaar too is reportedly looking to head for an IPO in 2021. Backed by investors like SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Tiger Global Management and Tencent Holdings, Policybazaar was last valued at $3.5 billion.

The startup’s co-founder Yashish Dahiya told Bloomberg in an interview earlier this year about his plans for an IPO, while also talking about funding plans, he said, “We have global interest and will raise in the coming week.”

While there has been no development since, it is expected that PolicyBazaar will head for an IPO by September 2021.

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Nykaa

Nykaa
BCCL

Indian beauty e-commerce unicorn Nykaa too is headed for the public markets in the next year. The Falguni Nayyar-headed startup turned unicorn this year and has raised investments from Boston-based asset management company Fidelity Management & Research Company, Steadview Capital and also from actresses Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif.

Nykaa’s profitability streak

Year

Revenue

EBITDA

FY20

₹1,860 crore

₹94 crore

FY19

₹1,159.32 crore.

₹2.3 crore

EBITDA: Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization

With the rise in e-commerce sales despite the coronavirus lockdown, Nykaa expects its revenue to grow by 40% in FY21.

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Delhivery

Delhivery
Delhivery/FB

Indian logistics unicorn Delhivery recently raised investment from Steadview Capital. The global investment firm has picked up $25 million worth shares in Delhivery through a secondary transaction.

With the investment, the co-founder of the logistics unicorn hinted that the startup would head towards an IPO soon. “Steadview is a long-term investor and we see them playing a key role as Delhivery heads towards the public markets in the next 12-15 months,” said Sahil Barua, founder and CEO of Delhivery.

In a recent interview, Barua had said that the company processes over 1.5 million orders per day and had closed last year with a revenue of ₹2,800 crore.

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