Investments in Indian startups are likely to rise in 2017 from last year while payment wallets will be the next big opportunity for mergers and acquisitions (M&A), said Nita Kapoor, head, India – new ventures, News Corp, at the News Corp VCCircle Startup Summit 2017 in Mumbai on Thursday.
“Wallets will have short lives. Wallets will merge into investments, saving accounts. Somebody will buy wallets. Don’t be surprised if you see wallets merged with banks,” she said, while addressing a gathering of eminent investors, entrepreneurs and investment bankers.
India recorded about 1,005 startup funding deals in 2016, and the number is likely to rise to 1,300-1,500 this year on the back of availability of more capital and strong interest in fintech and healthtech segments. Also, 48 new investments funds have been launched by existing as well as new investors with $2.9 billion in pocket, indicating availability of huge dry powder for investments.
Referring to the government’s decision in November last year to scrap old high-value notes to fight corruption and push India toward a less-cash economy, Kapoor said it was too soon to say if the move was a boon or bane. “It has to be a combination of cashless and cash. We cannot change overnight,” she said.
Summing up 2016, Kapoor said more than 30 top executives exited their firms and over 7,000 layoffs happened across 18 companies. “We will see a lot more people movement. If you have good talent, look after them,” she said.
Kapoor predicted that M&A will be an interesting space in 2017. “MSMEs and investors are looking at how to get M&As going. Some of these investors are global, they network with each other and they want exits,” she said.
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