Noida based digital payments and E-commerce platform Paytm, on Tuesday, announced that Berkshire Hathaway had bought a major stake in the company, adding to its current line up of prominent investors.
The Warren Buffet-led holding conglomerate bought a stake worth $353 million joining the company's international investors, including China's Alibaba Group, Ant Financial services as well as Japan's SoftBank.
With this deal, Berkshire Hathaway will mark its entry into the financial service sector as hinted by Buffet back in May during an annual shareholders meeting.
Indian startups have grown leaps and bounds over the last decade, with garage-founded companies emerging as Unicorns and Decacorns. Of the hundreds of funding rounds that the industry has witnessed, here are some that stand out:
The acquisition of Bengaluru-based Flipkart made headlines in May as American retail behemoth Walmart beat E-commerce giant Amazon in acquiring a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion.
However, when the company took off in 2007, its founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal had made the first investment of Rs 4 lakh to set up the website. Later, the company raised $1 million from US capital venture Accel Partners in 2009 and $10 million from Tiger Global in 2010. Months before the Walmart takeover, however, Flipkart had long passed the lakhs and millions mark and had pulled in an extraordinary $2.5 billion investment from SoftBank.
Earlier, in February, Indian restaurant aggregator Zomato became a topic of talk among industrialists after it raised $200 million from China-based Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group.
However, Zomato's first international funding came through in 2013 when the company raised $37 million from Sequoia Capital, an American venture capital firm.
In May, Bengaluru-based restaurant aggregator and food ordering app Swiggy made headlines after it raised nearly $210 million in a funding round involving Hong Kong-based DST Global and South African company Naspers.
Swiggy, which went live in 2014 instantly attracted eyeballs in spite of established rivals like Zomato. In 2015 the company gained its first international funding after US-based Accel Partners and Hong Kong-based SAIF Partners raised $2 million for the company. Since that time, Swiggy climbed up to $1.3 billion in valuation surpassing Zomato's $1.1 billion.
The New Delhi based e-commerce company was founded in 2010 by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal. The company made way for its first funding in 2011 after California based Nexus Venture Partners and Bangalore based Kalaari Capital raised $12 million for the company.
A joint funding from China-based Alibaba and Taiwan Foxconn Technology Group in 2015 still stands as one of the most significant contributions towards the company at $500 million, though Snapdeal has since seen its fortunes dwindle and is no longer considered one of the biggest players in the Indian e-commerce industry. In 2017, rumours were rife that it would merge with Flipkart with investor SoftBank looking to hedge its bets between the two companies.
Also in August 2018, in the FMCG space (not one in which startup fundraising happens often) New Delhi-based online men's grooming company Bombay Shaving Company raised a round of funding from US-based Colgate-Palmolive. In a Facebook post which explained the background of the investment by the consumer products giant, Bombay Shaving Company founder Shantanu Deshpande explained that the driving force behind the deal was the difficulty in succeeding in India's FMCG market.
Colgate Palmolive, through the deal, bought 14% stake in the company adding up to nearly $2.6 million. The two-year-old company which operates with 55 employees also stated that the century-old experience that Colgate Palmolive has in the market can be immensely leveraged.