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India has 19,400 startups... but exit valuations still low

India may boast of being home to around 19,400 technology-enabled startups, but exit valuation for the investors looking to cash in on the initial funding still remains low, says an official survey. Economic Survey 2015-16, tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Friday said that the startup sector in the country is witnessing "unusual dynamism", focussed on e-commerce and financial services. 

"Indian startups have raised $3.5 billion in funding in the first half of 2015 and the number of active investors in India has increased from 220 in 2014 to 490 in 2015," the survey noted.

It added about 2,000 startups have been backed by venture capital/angel investors since 2010, of which 1,005 were created in 2015 alone.

"It is important that startups too see 'exit', which could take the form of these companies being listed, allowing the original private investors to cash in on the initial investment and plough it back into other similar ventures. Exit valuations in India are still low," the survey said. 

It added exit valuations are expected to increase as the impact of new Sebi policies on listings comes into effect and as equity markets, in general, revive from current low valuations, caused by a sense of gloom in the global economy.

The survey said there were 19,400 technology-enabled startups in India as of January, of which 5,000 had been started in 2015 alone.
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