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India Witnessed a Record-Breaking IPO Rush in 2021 and Set to Carry the Same into 2022
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IPOs have made a lot of buzz in recent months, with more startups and private businesses looking to bank in on the positive market sentiment. And it looks like the story won't be any different next year.

It has been a whooping year for the domestic market as India emerged as one of the top destinations for total IPO initial public offers YTD 2021 (1). 

And thanks to investors’ bullish sentiment, companies rounded up more than 9.7 billion USD via initial sales in the initial nine months of 2021. Notably, it is the highest amount that businesses have incited through IPOs in the past two decades.

“We saw mega filings by new-age tech companies in recent months, and the outlook is positive, with numerous companies considering India as their primary listing destination. Corporate earnings have been healthy except for sectors impacted by supply-side disruption or because of the coronavirus pandemic. Overall, we expect the market activity to remain buoyant,” said Sandip Khetan, Financial Accounting Advisory Services Leader in EY India (2).

We can also clearly see the boom in the Indian IPO market from the fact that many companies listed in the past two years have outperformed the Nifty50 index. Also, the S&P BSE IPO index is at an all-time high, giving 103.12% returns to investors so far, October 2021 (3).

In the State of the Indian Economy Report released in August this year, RBI, Reserve Bank of India stated, “India’s tech startups boom has been long-awaited, with strong international and domestic appetite for seemingly world-class businesses in the pipeline. These listings coincide with a broader rush by companies to enter the market. There is also a FOMO, fear of missing out, among investors, which has been a driving factor for the records.”

According to RBI, India will have over 100 unicorns, with ten new ones in 2019 and 13 in 2020 despite COVID-19. Notably, as of August, India has 51 unicorns, adding almost three on average a month in 2021. 

So far, until 15th November 2021, 126 companies have filed for DRHP with SEBI this year (4). And most prominent names in the list include Go Airlines, Adani Wilmar, One 97 Communications, Delhivery, and other companies from the healthcare, technology (in the leading position in terms of number of IPOs), consumer, and retail sectors.

Collectively, as many 30 that have launched and launched their IPOs between October and November expect to raise as much as 45k crore INR, reported by PTI (5). And it doesn’t look like back-to-back IPO launches will stop anytime soon.  

Major IPOs Listed in 2021:

IPO india
Source: Business Insider, Stock Exchange

Until September, 40 companies have launched their IPOs to secure 64,271 crore INR (6). And tech firms have again led the rally by securing a whopping 15k crore INR via IPOs in the past 18 months. 

And, IPOs worth about 30k crore INR by these firms are already in the pipeline. 

“Rising number of unicorns is a testimony of the tech companies coming of age in the Indian economy. These firms often follow unique business models, focusing more on rapid growth over immediate profitability,” stated Ajay Tyagi, SEBI chairman (7).

However, the IPO trend is not limited to India alone. Worldwide, tech companies have been most active in terms of raising capital from the market. 

“At the close of strong global IPO market activity over the last few months, the Indian market keep on reaching new highs. With several companies eying an IPO, it seems like that the strong momentum would continue. The market is also anticipating detailed regulations for direct overseas listing since they are expected to provide further stimulus and opportunities for Indian companies. They may also promote better benchmarking among peers, encourage best practices and strengthen cross-border collaboration,” stated Prashan Singhal, sector leader in Emerging Markets, Technology, Media and Entertainment, and Telecommunications at EY (8). 

Read Also: Business Lessons from India’s Top 300 Startups

 

IPO Frenzy Likely to Continue

As noted, most IPOs have performed well this year and are trading above their issue price because of multiple factors, including:

  • Strong stock market momentum
  • Greater demand from investors
  • Higher liquidity

For instance, Nureca, a home healthcare and wellness firm has witnessed a 300% surge to about 1,738 INR from its issue price of 400 INR. Paras Defence’s stock has also rallied more than 380%, from its 175 INR issue price per share to 846 INR as of writing this post. Other IPOs like Clean Science, Ami Organics, GR Infraprojects, and Tatva Chintan Pharma have also doubled.  

According to experts, IPOs will witness strong demand if liquidity and other supporting conditions don’t change drastically. Of course, not every public issue will get a good response, but we expect most to do well (9). 

In an interview with MoneyControl (10) in August 2021, Mohit Ralhan, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner at TIW Private Equity, stated that “the success of Zomato IPO earlier this year is an indication of the Indian startup ecosystem’s maturation. And it is likely to open the floodgates for many more such IPOs of Indian unicorns.”

“As far as the IPO of LIC is concerned, it is likely to happen in the last quarter of 2022, since the Indian government has hinted at divesting Mishra Dhatu Nigam and Rashtriya Chemical & Fertilizers before LIC IPO,” explained Sunil Matkar from MoneyControl

He further said that “2021 could be a new record year, likely to be beaten in 2022.”

According to the report, India is a thriving startup ecosystem with about 66 unicorns, innovative entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, VC investors, a huge youth population, and rising internet penetration. 

In short, the Indian market is currently in a bull phase, and investors have gained significant returns from the market over the last 12 to 15 months. 

There is a positive commentary on the growth of India’s economy; in general, everyone is quite optimistic about its future growth. 

According to market experts, the Indian economy’s long-term structural trend is extremely positive, and there is a buying opportunity with every correction. 

We can also consider it the start of the multiyear bull cycle as our country moves towards becoming a five trillion USD economy. Meaning there are strong long-term economic factors. 

Read Also: Can Indian Startups Compete Globally?

 

IPOs to Look Forward to in 2022

Byju’s

The education provider, Byju’s is the most valuable startup in India, and the world’s most valuable edtech firm is in talks to raise funds via an IPO in 2022. 

Amid the pandemic, like several other digital firms, Byju’s also witnessed massive growth. 

Below are some key highlights:

  • Over the past few months, the edtech giant has successfully acquired multiple companies that offer coding lessons, professional learning courses, competitive test preparation classes, etc. 
  • It also added 45 million students during the peak of COVID-19. 
  • By July, it crossed over 100 million users on its smartphone app. 
  • It has over 6.5 million users as paid subscribers. 
  • It added 45 million users during the peak phase of the pandemic.
  • It crossed the 100 million users mark on its app by July this year.
  • It has as many as 6.5 million paid subscribers.
  • It enjoys an annual renewal rate of 86%.
  • It has the first mover’s advantage.
  • It has a strong business model.

These pointers show a strong market foothold of this education provider and its surging popularity among students. Moreover, as internet penetration is set to rise, the trend is likely to continue. 

With an IPO next year, the company is aiming to secure between 400 to 600 million USD. 

And as per the reports (11), the Bengaluru-based company is looking to close its pre-IPO funds at about 21 billion USD valuation in the upcoming weeks. It is likely to split almost evenly between debt and equity. 

Reports also suggest that insiders are discussing over 40 to 50 billion USD valuation. Notably, the company closed its latest funding round last month with 18 billion USD, up from 16.5 billion USD in June. 

Byju’s is looking to file its initial IPO documents as soon as the Q2 of 2021, soon after closing the current fiscal year in March. 

Previously, it considered 12 to 24 months of timeline after the funding round. 

It has prominent global investors at its back, including Meta‘s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Tiger Global Management, and Silver Lake Management. And the edtech company’s bankers include JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanely. 

So, should you invest in Byju’s? Well, below are some negative points you should consider first, 

  • Increase in loss because of loss-making acquisitions
  • Its K3 app with Disney didn’t witness the anticipated success (12)
  • There are certain “costs” of its aggressive expansion
  • The ratio of paid subscribers to total is still low at 7%
  • There is a lot of competition from open-source content on the internet.
  • Some of its acquisitions are likely to fail!
  • Insane valuation even before its IPO, a potential bubble (13)

In conclusion, be cautious if you are thinking about investing in Byju’s IPO. 

Read Also: The Booming $500 Billion Business of Low-Cost Online Courses.

 

Ola

Ola is exploring an IPO early next year to raise about 1.5 to 2 billion USD. 

It values the ride-hailing giant at 12 to 14 billion USD. 

It will raise half the fund via the primary issue and the rest from an OFS offer for sale.

Most notably, Ola is a profitable company, which is a rarity among startups. It reported a standalone operating profit of 898 million INR for FY 2021, compared to a loss of 6.1 billion INR in FY 2020. 

Even though its revenues dropped to 65% from a year ago because of the pandemic, it turned out to be profitable thanks to its aggressive cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in the workforce.

Last month, Ola secured 500 million USD, which we can consider a pre-IPO round from Warburg Pincus, Temasek Holdings, and others (14).

The company recently acquired GeoSpoc, a six-year-old geospatial company based in Pune, aiming to build the next-gen location technology globally. 

Read Also: Mobikwik and Paytm IPO: Everything You Need to Know

 

Delhivery

Delivery is another logistic tech company eyeing to launch an IPO next year. According to the report, it plans to secure 400 to 500 million USD from the market (1516). 

Notably, it has already filed its DRHP with the market regulator. There are expectations that DelhiveryDel’s issue size would be around 74.6 billion USD, of which 50 billion USD would be a new issue, and the remaining 24.6 billion USD would be from sales. 

Its existing investors, including China Momentum Fund, 4 billion INR, Carlyle, 9.2 billion INR, Times Internet, 3.3 billion INR, and Softbank, 7.5 billion INR, are planning to sell their stake.

The company is expecting about a 5.5 billion USD valuation via the issue. 

Reportedly, Delhivery plans to use the raised capital to fund its organic and inorganic growth initiatives through acquisitions and other strategies. 

Also, it recently signed an agreement to acquire a 100% stake in Spoton Logistics, its rival express logistics player. 

In September 2021, the company competing with the likes of Ecom Express and BlueDark had also issued bonus shares to its stakeholders via a resolution passed at its EGM, extraordinary general meeting. 

Read Also: Insurtech Boom and Opportunities in the Post-COVID World

 

LIC, Life Insurance Corporation of India

The IPO of LIC, a state-owned insurance company of India, is touted as the mother of all IPOs by many. And it is expected to come out in the fourth quarter of FY 2022 (17). 

The government is reportedly selling a stake of about 5 to 10% of the company with the offering.

The listing is crucial for the Indian government looking to meet its disinvestment targets. According to the market estimation, the government is likely to mop up about a whopping 600 to 800 billion INR with this IPO. 

Undoubtedly, LIC is India’s largest and most trusted life insurer with substantial cash reserves. Notably, it is also the most profitable entity owned by the Indian government. 

As per available media reports, LIC made a stock market profit of about 100 billion INR between April and June 2021. 

It enjoys a massive market share, 49.8%, while the remaining 50.2% share is shared among 23 other private insurance companies, including ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and HDFC Life.

As per the latest media reports, a ministerial panel on the “alternative mechanism on strategic disinvestment” will decide the size of the stake sold in the IPO. However, it would likely be less than 10%. 

There has been no data on other details like the grey market premium, issue size, price band, and face value. There is also no clarity on the exact dates of the IPO launch as of now.  

However, we know that the government is regarding a proposal for overseas investors to own as much as a 20% stake in the company, allowing them to participate in the country’s most significant IPO. 

There are discussions to amend FDI, foreign direct investment rules so investors can directly purchase stakes under the automatic rule without any approval from the Indian government (18). 

Regardless, 2022 can be a defining year for IPOs. And we can’t wait to see how the market responds. 

Stick with TimesNext to know more about the IPO frenzy and the overall Indian startup ecosystem. 

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Rucha Joshi, currently managing a team of over 20 content writers at TimesNext is fueled by her passion for creative writing. She is eager to turn information into action. With her hunger for knowledge, she considers herself a forever student and a passionate leader.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article have been curated for our audience and does not warrant a 100% accuracy. All the information mentioned in the article is subject to change according to the changing viewpoints. Feel free to reach us at [email protected] for any change or copyright issues.

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Team Rucha Joshi
Team Rucha Joshi
Rucha Joshi, currently managing a team of over 20 content writers at TimesNext is fueled by her passion for creative writing. She is eager to turn information into action. With her hunger for knowledge, she considers herself a forever student and a passionate leader.

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