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January 21, 2014

VCs turn cautious in 2013; investment activity down 18% to 206 deals worth $805-M

IT & Healthcare deals dominate while Education, Financial Services and Cleantech cos drop from favor

Venture Capital firms invested about $805 million over 206 deals in India during the twelve months ended December 2013, according to analysis by Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and valuations. The VC investment activity was about 18% lower compared to 2012 which had witnessed 252 transactions worth $898 million.

Top Investments

The largest VC investments of 2013 were the $20 million rounds raised by restaurant chain Barbeque Nation (from CX Partners) and online taxi booking service Olacabs (from Matrix Partners India and existing investor Tiger Global).

Investments by Industry

With 130 investments worth about $404 million, the Information Technology and IT-Enabled Services (IT & ITES) industry retained its status as the favorite among VC investors during 2013 accounting for 63% of the investment activity (50% by value). Healthcare & Life Sciences emerged as the second favorite destination attracting 27 investments worth $181 million, the Venture Intelligence research showed. Agri-business and Food & Beverages attracted seven investments (worth $20 million) and six investments ($30 million) respectively.

Within IT, the other larger sized investments apart from Olacabs, included the $15 million investment in online car listing firm Cardekho (by Sequoia Capital); the $14 million received by online health supplies retailer Healthkart (led by Intel Capital with participation from existing investors Omidyar Network and Sequoia Capital) and the $12.3 million investment in database software firm ScaleArc (from Accel India and existing investor Nexus Ventures).

Online Services companies, which attracted 68 investments worth $237 million in 2013, continued to account for over 50% of IT & ITES investments. Enterprise Software companies that attracted 29 investments worth $97 million in 2013 (compared to 21 investments worth $78 million in 2012) were the next favorite sector within IT & ITES, followed by Mobile VAS companies at 22 investments worth $46 million (as compared 18 investments worth $41 million in 2012).

Investments by Stage
Early Stage investments accounted for 68% of all VC investment activity (44% in value terms) during 2013. The share of Early Stage investment activity however declined significantly from the 83% during 2012.

Investments by Region
Companies based in South India accounted for 41% of all VC investments (55% by value) during 2013. Their peers in Western India accounted for 29% of the pie in 2013 (27% by value). Companies based in North India accounted for 24% of the investments in 2013 (23% by value).

Among cities, companies headquartered in Bangalore and Mumbai were the favorite among VC investors during 2013 attracting 49 investments each, followed by Delhi based companies that accounted for 24 investments and Chennai based companies with 21 investments. Gurgaon and Hyderabad followed with 15 deals and 8 deals respectively.

Most Active VC Firms
Blume Ventures was the most active VC investor during 2013 with 23 investments (22 of them in new companies). Blume was followed by Accel India with 15 investments (5 new); Nexus Ventures and Kae Capital with 14 investments each (with seven and 12 new investments respectively); Sequoia Capital India with 12 investments (8 new) and while Matrix Partners India made 10 investments (8 new).

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.