The financial year of 2016-17 seems to be the one where several startup entrepreneurs who have been longing to become the fodder for bigger companies, might see their wishes finally being granted.

According to data collected by Venture Intelligence for last fiscal year, 2015-16, the number of technology startups acquisitions and mergers more than doubled from just 69 in the year 2014-15 to 146 transactions in 2015-16.

Based on this last year's data, data analysts are predicting an even more jubilant time for the acquisition activity in the Indian startup industry in the year 2016-17. According to experts, this surge in numbers is mainly because of the trend that companies such as Snapdeal and Flipkart, which are better-funded and have been able to establish a dominance of sorts in the market, are looking to invest their money in some well-planned purchases.

The data collected also revealed that on- demand delivery startups have been a favourite among the investors in the first half of last year before facing a sad collapse in the latter part of 2015. But, according to industry experts, 2016 would be the year of the financial technology sector. The space could witness becoming a hotbed for companies scouting to grab their hands on a startup with a payments bank licence or an already well-renowned digital wallet.

Current industry trends predicts that some of the biggest internet companies in the country are currently waiting in line to take some young startups under their shrine.

Flipkart, India's most successful startup till date, recently bought PhonePe, a company currently in the midst of developing a product that will allow users to make payments using a mobile number, a concept which is almost based on the government-backed and currently launched Unified Payments Interface.

According to recent statements made by Binny Bansal, Flipkart's chief executive, this year the company will be scouting for investments and acquisitions in advertisement, payment, commerce and supply chain centric firms. Similar views were echoed by Kunal Bahl, Snapdeal's CEO regarding Snapdeal's acquisition plans for this year.

Experts believe that majority of acquisitions in this financial year, 2016-17, will be headed by investors who will be looking forward to extracting some marginal returns on their investment cycles near their ends, or as they start shrinking their portfolios. In fact, Entrepreneurs are also looking into exploring newer options in their effort to survive in a landscape that has been suffering through a bad phase of liquidity crunch the past ten months.

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