From Unacademy to Swiggy ⁠— Prime Minister Modi gets a request from founders of India’s biggest startups

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From Unacademy to Swiggy ⁠— Prime Minister Modi gets a request from founders of India’s biggest startups
Prime Miniter Narendra ModiBCCL
  • The letter was sent to PM Modi last week, with copies marked to finance, commerce and IT ministers.
  • The signatories of the letter included founders of Byju’s, Cred, Swiggy, Urban Company, BharatPe and Unacademy.
  • The stakeholders emphasised that overseas listing can help Indian companies get access to a greater pool of capital.
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The leaders of 22 Indian startups and venture capital (VC) firms jointly wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on July 29, urging the Indian government to allow direct overseas listing of companies based in India.

The industry leaders, in a copy of the letter seen by Business Insider, have highlighted that many successful Indian startups have continued to be at the forefront of driving massive tech transformation in India and building globally competitive products and services.

They emphasised that India has added 18 new unicorns this year, so far — companies valued at or more than $1 billion — taking the tally to 55.

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The letter was sent to PM Modi, with copies marked to Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Information Technology (IT) Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. The Economic Times was the first to report this development.

"Given this trend of fast-paced growth, many such mature companies are now keen to tap stock markets to raise further capital as it will allow them to fuel their domestic and international expansion, generate employment and make India more efficient and competitive.” — the letter read.

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The leaders of the world's third largest startup ecosystem explained that overseas listing can help Indian companies get access to a greater pool of capital and raise the profile of Indian startups. They also emphasised that there is also more specialisation amongst investors in international markets like US or Singapore, due to which they are able to place a higher valuation on these tech companies.

“The current inability of unlisted companies to tap international markets for raising capital is hence an impediment to the growth ambitions of Indian startups, as their access to wider global pools of capital is blocked and serves up other disadvantages as outlined above.” — the letter reads.

The stakeholders in the letter wrote that Indian startups do not have a level playing field with their counterparts in other global startup hubs and this results in migration of startups outside of India. “If India wants to produce multinational tech giants, permitting our startups to access global capital by listing on international exchanges is an absolute must-have,” they added.

They also emphasised that the government of India had shown interest to allow direct overseas listing for companies back in September 2020, but there hasn’t been any further progress on the same. The signatories have appealed to the government to move forward with this and expedite the steps for turning overseas direct listing into a reality.
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