India is fast emerging as the hotbed of unicorns i.e. companies that have surpassed valuation of $1 billion. The country’s unicorn tally has already touched the 50 mark and includes household names such as Flipkart, Paytm, Zomato and Ola, with as many as 16 start-ups acquiring unicorn status in the year 2021 alone. But it is only now that the digital economy companies are taking the public route, with the upcoming Zomato IPO poised to herald the age of mega Indian startup IPOs.
Zomato, the restaurant aggregator and food delivery venture’s public issue will open on July 14. The company is looking to raise Rs 93.75 billion (about $1.25 billion) through a fresh issue of shares and an offer for sale by its parent company, Info Edge. Zomato’s Rs 9,375 crore initial public offering (IPO) will consist of a fresh issue of Rs 9,000 crore and an offer for sale of Rs 375 crore by the promoter, Info Edge India.
The Paytm IPO is expected to be next in line. The mobile payments and commerce platform is planning an IPO of about Rs 166 billion ($2.23 billion), according to reports. Flipkart and Ola are the other Indian unicorns that are likely to tap the primary markets for funds in this calendar year.
Mobikwik is also set to take the IPO route although the digital payment company is not a unicorn in the conventional sense of the word, with its valuation placed at $70 million. The digital payments firm backed by Sequoia Capital and Bajaj Finance, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) worth up to Rs 1,900 crore with the markets regulator Sebi on Monday.
Many other non-unicorn companies have also lined up to go public. A total of 30 companies have filed IPO papers to raise Rs 55,000 crore and at least 10-15 companies have initiated the process of going public.
An initial public offering (IPO) is a process wherein a private company raises money by offering shares to the public, thereby making a transition into a publicly listed company. Some IPOs may also include an offer for sale (OFS) by existing investors. However, in such cases, the money will go to the concerned investors and the issuing company will not receive any of the IPO proceeds.
Companies raise funds through IPOs for a variety of reasons such as expansion, clearing debt and funding corporate expenses. And online delivery start-ups such as Paytm, MobiKwik and Zomato have an added incentive for fund raising as the covid-19 pandemic has spurred unprecedented growth in demand for online services.