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Ratan Tata leads as Flipkart, Snapdeal founders vanish from top angels’ list

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus at Tata Sons Ltd, is heading the pack of India’s top angel investors so far this year while the founders of Flipkart and Snapdeal are conspicuous by their absence from the list.

The 78-year-old Tata, who started investing in startups after retiring as chairman of the diversified Tata Group in December 2012, was the top angel investor by number of deals last year and will easily surpass his last year’s numbers in 2016 if he keeps up this pace for the remaining six months.

The top-10 list of angel investors so far this year also includes former Infosys executives TV Mohandas Pai and Kris Gopalakrishnan (see graph). But Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and Snapdeal co-founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl didn’t find a place in the list; all three were in the 2015 list.

The list is culled from a sample of the deals announced at large, as names of investors in several angel funding deals are not publicly disclosed. Also, several angel deals are not even announced. So, while some of these investors may have struck more deals, some other investors may have made more investments than the people listed here.

Overall, the number of angel and seed investments in Indian startups have risen to 366 till 7 July 2016 from 324 a year earlier, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle. This, however, includes some early-stage investments by venture capital firms.

While Tata continues to invest at a fast clip, startups are finding it tougher to get their first funding cheques. In fact, the number of startups that received first-stage funding declined in the April-June quarter from the year-earlier period and sequentially.

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Prakash Ghai July 9, 2016 23:38

With the recent mark-down in valuations of e-commerce companies, surely the funding enviorment is getting tougher. The question is, has e-commerce peaked out in India?

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