• It’s the season of handshakes at startup Inc with Flipkart & Snapdeal seeking to make strategic purchases

    For startups with deep ambitions to become fodder for bigger fish, this financial year could be the one granting them closure.

    In the fiscal year ended March 31, the number of mergers and acquisitions involving technology startups more than doubled to 146 transactions from 69 in 2014-15, according to data tracker Venture Intelligence.

    Experts are forecasting that startup acquisition activity in 2016-17 will surpass last year’s numbers, propelled, in part, by large and better-funded companies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal that are actively seeking to make strategic purchases.

    “We definitely expect to see more consolidation this year driven by a few factors acquisitions that are complementary and synergistic; consolidation to take out competition; consolidation of cap tables; and acqui-hires,” said Aashish Bhinde, head of digital and technology at investment bank Avendus Capital.

    Investors and experts tracking India’s rapidly growing startup industry have been predicting a wave of mergers and acquisitions for several months now. Their primary reasons: The funding winter that has dawned on maturing companies; hyper-competition fueled by investor money; and the hasty floundering of some hugely hyped sectors because of weak business fundamentals.

    On-demand delivery startups emerged an investor favourite in the first half of 2015 before imploding in the latter part of the year and either shuttering or becoming takeover targets. Le’Veon Bell Jersey

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