January 2024: Indian Startups Raise $732.7M Despite Turbulence

In this month of January 2024, marked by adversity, Indian startups navigated layoffs, shutdowns, and top-level exits while managing to secure $732.7 million across 107 deals, as revealed by data from TheKredible.

According to the data breakdown, early-stage deals accounted for 70 transactions, totaling $314.4 million, while growth-stage deals comprised 21 deals amounting to $418.3 million. Notably, 16 funding rounds remained undisclosed.

Despite the resilience displayed by Indian startups, the total funding witnessed a significant drop from $1.7 billion in December 2023. January 2024 recorded the lowest funding for the month in the last three years, as reported by Entrackr. Interestingly, none of the startups secured funding exceeding $100 million during the month.

Leading the funding charge was FinTech startup Vivifi, securing a substantial $75 million. The top five most funded companies in January also included AiDash, wow! Momo, Impact Analytics, and BluSmart.

Indian Startups Interesting Trends

In an interesting trend, three growth-stage companies—OneCard, Infra.Market, and Yulu—opted for debt funding. Krutrim SI Designs, spearheaded by Bhavish Aggarwal, declared a notable $50 million in funding, propelling it to the status of the fastest unicorn in the Indian startup ecosystem.

International Battery Finance and three fintech startups—StockGro, FinAGG, and Ecofy—emerged in the top five list, with StockGro securing the highest debt funding last month.

The entrepreneurial landscape was not without challenges, as layoffs continued to impact Indian startups. Swiggy, a prominent online food delivery platform, led with 350 layoffs, followed by Cult.fit and InMobi. E-commerce giant Flipkart also made headlines by letting go of over 1,000 employees.

Beyond layoffs, top-level executives departed from Indian startups, with Udaan witnessing two notable departures, including CFO Aditya Pande and FMCG business head Vinay Shrivastava.

Several CEOs left their roles, affecting companies such as Indus Appstore and KnowledgeHut (both owned by PhonePe), as well as the co-founders of DealShare and Fashinza. Alongside layoffs, cricket non-fungible token (NFT) platform Rario and ByteDance’s Resso announced the cessation of their operations, adding another layer to the challenges faced by the Indian startup ecosystem.

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