The Indian Startup scene saw a lot of action in the year 2014. Indian startups finally made it big on the International level and got recognized for their hardwork and passion. One of the best barometers for the startup scene in any country is how the big multinational companies are looking at the local startups in the country for acquisitions.
The number of mergers and acquisition (M&A) transactions involving Indian companies in FY14 stood at 674, down by 20 percent against 843 deals seen in FY13. The deal value increased by 12 percent against the US$20.1 billion seen in 2013. The average deal size reached US$99 million, a 59 percent leap from US$62 million a year earlier. This shows a maturing of the tech ecosystem, with more startups scaling up faster to attract bigger deals.
Going by the number of startup acquisitions that took place last year, the Indian Startup scene seems to be having its bestest phase till date. We at IndianWeb2 bring to you the Top 10 Startup acquisitions that took place in India last year.
Here we go!
1. Flipkart-Myntra –
May 2014 saw the acquisition of India’s biggest online apparel store, Myntra.com by the country’s largest e-commerce store, Flipkart. According to some experts, Flipkart acquired Myntra.com in order to defend itself from the fierce competition that it was receiving from Amazon and to fetch a much larger share in the country’s online retail market. The acquisition took place on May 21, 2014 and it was an 100 percent acquisition.
According to some sources, the buyout was valued at over $300 million but the figure remained unconfirmed by both the companies. The top officials at both the companies claimed that this was a ‘completely different acquisition story’ as the acquisition wasn’t driven by distress and both the companies were scripting “one of the largest e-commerce stories” together.
2. Yahoo-BookPad –
Yahoo, the internet giant, announced its first Indian Startup acquisition in Sep, 2014. Yahoo acquired Bangalore based startup Bookpad for a whopping $8.3 million (about Rs.50 Crore). The startup was acquired within one year of its launch and the average age of its founders is just 24 years.
Founded by IIT Guwahati alumni Ashwik Reddy, Aditya Bandi and Niketh Sabbineni, Bookpad designs and invents technology to solve problems surrounding digital content. Docspad, the startup’s flagship product, enables document embedding, annotations and editing in enterprise applications. According to some sources, Dropbox and Autodesk were also fighting for the startup’s acquisition with Yahoo but in the end, Yahoo emerged as the clear winner.
September 2014 saw the announcement of a major acquisition news by Girnar Software Pvt Ltd and ibibo Group. Girnar Software Pvt Ltd, the owners of CarDekho.com acquired ibibo’s Gaadi.com which is one of India’s leading auto online portal. This acquisition made Girnar Software the undisputed number one player in auto search and generation business in the country. Even after the acquisition, Gaadi.com and CarDekho.com have continued to run independently and function as separate businesses in order to drive deep focus.
4. FoodPanda-TastyKhana –
Food delivery service FoodPanda acquired one of its biggest competitors in the country TastyKhana in November last year. TastyKhana is an online food delivery service backed by Germany based Delivery Hero. It’s interesting to note that Delivery Hero and FoodPanda have been acquiring companies from each other in Mexico and Latin America also apart from India. Delivery Hero is the leading investor in TastyKhana and had invested $ 5 million in the company in 2013. According to the Economic Times, Delivery Hero might have earned returns of between $15 million and $25 million (about 93-155 crore).
5. Amazon-QwikCilver –
Singapore based Amazon Asia Pacific has acquired a minority stake of under 15 percent in Online gift card shop, QwikCilver Solutions. With Amazon on board, QwikCilver will be able to bring in best practices and global strategies that would help to scale the sector and startup to the next level. The Bangalore based company provides end to end stored value card solutions to retail and corporate customers in India. QwikCilver has continued to run as a separate business even after acquisition by Amazon and it still services other clients like Flipkart.
Little Eye Labs, a little known Indian startup that analyzes data was acquired by Facebook in January 2014 and this was Facebook’s first ever acquisition of an Indian company. The amount of acquisition wasn’t disclosed. Founded in 2012 by five engineers, Bangalore-based Little Eye Labs has built a software tool to analyze the performance of apps on Android software platform. It analyzes data on users, the power consumed and the memory taken by the apps on cellphones and tablet computers.
BigDecisions.com, which is a financial advisory startup firm based in Mumbai, India, was acquired by News Corp led by Rupert Murdoch for an undisclosed amount. The same was announced by News Corp on 20th December last year. The Mumbai based startup founded by Manish Shah and Gaurav Roy helps Indian consumers in making smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data. Following the acquisition, Roy and Shah have been helping in overseeing a significant expansion of the Mumbai based BigDecisions.com team as well its consumer offerings. They both have started reporting to Raju Narisetti, News Corp Senior Vice President, Strategy. The acquisition of BigDecisions.com by News Corp also includes FinDirect Services Pvt. Ltd. which is the website’s parent company.
8. Kirusa-Cooltok –
Cooltok, which is a Bangalore based startup has been acquired by Kirusa, which is a US based company famous for being one of the leading Mobile Social Media and value added service providers in the world. The amount of money involved in the acquisition wasn’t disclosed by both the companies. Kirusa has acquired all the technology, workforce and intellectual property of Cooltok. The startup is famous for manufacturing a mobile phone messaging application that helps you in staying connected to your family and friends.
9. Pegasystems-MeshLabs –
MeshLabs, which is a Bangalore based text mining and analytics software startup has been acquired by Pegasystems, a Cambridge US based company. Pegasystems will integrate MeshLabs’s text analytics software in order to gather unstructured social media data and decode it into actionable business insights for its clients. Pegasystems has unified MeshLabs social listening, text analytics, and natural language processing to enhance existing capabilities in its market leading customer service, marketing and case management solutions.
10. Sourcebits-Globo –
Sourcebits, which focuses on the design and development of software applications, games and web services announced the acquisition of its third party mobile application development business by UK based Globo plc in June this year. Globo plc is a United Kingdom based enterprise mobility management and telecom software products provider. The third party mobile application development business acquired by Globo accounts for 90% of Sourcebits revenue.
Even after the acquisition, Sourcebits has continued under its own Globo’s mobility business services division. The acquisition saw the transfer of 160 Sourcebits to Globo, though the key members of the management and development teams retained their position within the new integrated structure.
In May last year, the digital arm of Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd, TimesInternet Ltd bought majority stake in Coupondunia.com and then Times Internet announced the merger of its deals site TimesDeal with CouponDunia later in the year. After the merger, the entire coupon business is being carried out under the CouponDunia brand name. The merger has brought the company’s combined user base the benefits of both worlds- the best online coupons and a wide range of local deals. CopounDunia was acquired by Times Internet Ltd earlier this year .According to the stats available till May 2014, the site enjoyed over one million subscribers and got an amazing two million visitors on a monthly basis. CouponDunia claims to have served coupons from over more than 1,500 online brands.