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All eyes are on India’s brightest Zomato

Relevance is often tied to rarity. As a result, the first anything — whether a birthday, scientific feat or female vice president — comes with its own weight. Whether that pressure is warranted is a discussion in and of itself, but today, we’ll focus on the ripple effects of India’s first unicorn IPO: Zomato.
Food delivery startup Zomato, set to start trading public shares next week, has been labeled by journalists and industry experts as India’s biggest tech public offering to date. The company could be valued at up to $8.6 billion in its public debut, and early indications of investor interest were strong. 
As my colleagues Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim put it in their column, the eventual performance of Zomato will be watched by Paytm and MobiKwik, two Indian fintech unicorns also looking to go public soon, the some 100 Indian unicorns, and, of course, returns-focused venture capitalists. The success of the startup could lead to more venture funding, exits down the road, and overall, highlight a milestone for growth investments amid legislative and regulatory tension. 
While the pressure is on for Zomato not to get squashed by the public markets, it’s not simply baseless, anticipatory energy. Our on-the-ground reporter Manish Singh has religiously reported on all the signs that India has been building toward this event, from the early-stage startup fundraising frenzy to how engineers suddenly feel empowered to ask for more money thanks to an increase in demand.
A Zomato success may turn more investors to pay attention to the startup scene, but they will be playing catch-up: Indian startups have raised a record $10.46 billion in the first half of 2021, up from $4 billion during the same period last year, and $5.4 billion in the first half of 2019, data insight platform Tracxn told TechCrunch. For comparison, Indian startups had raised $11.6 billion in all of 2020.
The takeaway here, both in life and in startups, is that the first anything is rarely a result of a single decision. Often, if you look closely, a massive milestone is due to an amalgamation of different wins, successes, failures, and tinier milestones along the way. This doesn’t take away its title as the biggest tech startup to go public in India (relevant, and rare!) but it does suggest that ripple effects aren’t just a side effect of a financing event, but maybe the impetus of the IPO in the first place.
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll get into emerging fund manager trends, as well as funding round advice that has nothing to do with closing a round. You can find me on Twitter @nmasc_ or listen to me as a co-host on Equity.

Emerge, then converge


All eyes are on India’s brightest Zomato
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch
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