The year 2015 was the best year ever for private equity (PE) investing in India, with record investments as well as exits. It saw investments worth 19.5 billion USD in 730 deals and exits worth 8.7 billion USD in 230 deals, with almost 40% of the total investments contributed by the technology sector.
The last quarter of the year witnessed investments of 3.94 billion USD in 159 deals. The major contributor here was again the technology sector, attracting 1.26 billion USD in 93 deals. Interestingly, e-commerce did not play a big part in the last quarter.
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With the government’s and the Reserve Bank of India’s focus on banking for the unbanked, and possibilities created by technology and mobility, there is tremendous potential for products and services that can target specific segments and improve access to financial services across the board. The insurance sector has also seen considerable activity after the government allowed foreign companies to increase their stake to 49%. Investors are bullish on the Indian growth story and opportunities to provide services and products in this exciting market.
Bharti Gupta Ramola, Financial Services Industry Leader, PwC India
The IT sector continued its strong performance and emerged as the leader in terms of both investment volume and value; however, the performance of the sector declined as compared to previous quarters. A majority of the deals were in the growth and late stages, and Bengaluru continued to lead the pack regionally. Traditional IT & ITeS segment companies like QuEST Global, IBS Software Services and Zensar Technologies dominated the quarter as opposed to the usual headliners, e-commerce and online services. The e-commerce and online services segments, which had been flush with cash since late 2014, saw selective investments flowing in lately and e-commerce companies themselves have started focussing on profitability by controlling costs and marketing spends. With several companies shutting shop and significant lay-offs across the industry, e-commerce and online companies have started functioning rationally as funding is expected to get tougher in 2016.
Sandeep Ladda, Technology Industry Leader, PwC India