According to Inc42’s ‘Indian Tech Startup investment Report Q1 2023’, the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 appears to have further squeezed cash-strapped Indian companies, with startup investment falling 75% year-over-year (YoY) across segments to $3 Bn as opposed to $12 Bn in Q1 2022.
Mega deals decreased 77% to just seven deals compared to 30 in the same period last year, settling at 2019 levels. Additionally, seed-stage funding suffered, falling 81% QoQ to $180 Mn from $961 Mn in Q4 2022.
In a study conducted by Inc42, 52% of investors said they had taken part in fewer transactions than in Q1 2022. This merely suggests that the pessimistic investor sentiment, especially among institutional investors in India, may persist for some time.
According to the number of agreements, the top five active startup investors who demonstrated their support for the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world in the first three months of 2023 are AngelList India (47), Alteria Capital (26), Blume Ventures (20), Stride Ventures (20), and AH Ventures (19).
Here is a list of the most active startup investors who supported businesses in Q1 2023, however there is still hope that startup funding may rebound in the quarters to come.
Most active early-stage investors in 2023 Q1
1. AngelList India
Naval Ravikant founded AngelList in 2009, which enables individual investors to contribute as little as $1K through investment syndicates.
It took part in 47 startup transactions in Q1 2023 and provided funding to companies like the D2C firm MasterChow, the finance startup OTO Capital, and the healthtech business CareFi.
The venture capital firm took involved in 285 funding transactions in 2022 and made investments in companies like coliving marketplace Crib, content sharing platform SuperShare, and B2B manufacturing and logistics startup Magma, among others.
2. Alteria Capital
risk-taking debt fund The majority of Alteria Capital’s investments are in VC-funded firms in India. It enables company founders to invest through a loan route and acquire only modest equity in their businesses, reducing dilution and increasing their ownership in them.
Alteria Capital took part in 26 startup deals in the first quarter of 2023, including those of Entropik, LEAD School, Jupiter, and Freightify.
About 90 portfolio firms, including Cars24, Spinny, BharatPe, DealShare, Dunzo, The Good Glamm Group, LendingKart, and MediBuddy, are managed by the VC debt fund.
3. Blume Ventures
Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath launched Blume Ventures in 2010, and it invests in businesses that operate in a variety of industries, including edtech, fintech, health, commerce, consumer internet, AI, and SaaS.
It invested in startups in 20 fundraising rounds during the first quarter of 2023, including ApnaKlub, Virohan, ElectricPe, and Aerem.
The VC firm concluded its $250 million fund in 2022 and supported 31 Indian startups, including the Lambdatest browser testing platform, Pixxel, and the Jai Kishan agritech startup.
4. Stride Ventures
Stride Ventures, a company founded in 2019 by Ishpreet Gandhi, primarily invests in startups developing products for the fintech, agritech, B2B commerce, healthtech, SaaS, mobility, and energy sectors.
It took part in 20 startup transactions in Q1 2023, including the deal for edtech unicorn LEAD. It closed its $200 million Stride Ventures India Fund II in 2022 and invested in 55 firms. The fund was established to invest $4 million to $5 million in 60 to 70 firms over a four-year period.
5. ah! Ventures
Venture capital business ah! in Mumbai Ventures mostly invests in early-stage startups in India. It participated in nine startup transactions in Q1 2023, including those of WHOLELEAF, DealBasket, and DApp World.
While participating in 54 startup funding deals in 2022, the VC firm also established a $14 million alternative investment fund (AIF) to invest in domestic startups in the healthcare, fintech, education, B2B SaaS, enterprisetech, and direct-to-consumer (D2C) sectors.
6. We Founder Circle
Gaurav Sanghavi, Neeraj Tyagi, Bhawna Bhatnagar, Deo Saurabh, and Vikas Aggarwal established We Founder Circle in 2020. By 2022, they claim to have made 71 investments in 53 firms.
In the same year, it launched two angel funds: the $24 million Invstt Trust angel fund and the $30 million We Founder Circle Global Angels Fund cross-border angel fund.
It took part in 18 startup agreements in the first quarter of 2023, including investments in companies like The Energy Company, Zypp Electric, and Banksathi, among others.
7. Inflection Point Ventures
With a network of more than 6,400 CXOs, HNIs (high-net-worth people), and professionals, Inflection Point Ventures was founded in 2019.
It took part in 12 startup deals in Q1 2023. The company invested in 48 Indian businesses in 2022, including the OTT platform STAGE, the fintech startup MoneyPlanned, and the beverage brand Bored Beverages.
The Silicon Valley-based VC firm Accel secured $650 Mn in 2022 for its seventh fund (Accel India VII) to back early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia.
In Q1 2023, the VC firm participated in 12 startup investment deals. It pumped money into startups like Zypp Electric, Kratos Studios, Rigi and Brick&Bolt. It participated in 48 investment deals in 2022.
9. Antler India
In late 2020, the Singapore-based VC company Antler began operating in India. It disclosed ambitions to invest $100 million to $150 million in more than 100 Indian businesses by 2023 at the time.
Antler India Residency, a cohort-based initiative for startup founders, was introduced in April 2022. It took part in 10 startup deals in the first quarter of 2023, including those of Locad, Salad, and OnArrival.
The venture capital firm participated in 22 startup deals in 2022 and provided funding to companies like Voloplay, Juno, and Peakperformer.
10. Titan Capital
The majority of Titan Capital’s investments are made in seed-stage businesses operating in industries like consumer internet, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, SaaS, and AI.
According to Inc42 statistics, it invested in bluelearn, Magma, Zouk, and Podeum during the first quarter of 2023 through participation in nine startup agreements.