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Amid the COVID-19 crisis, venture capital investment in India fell from a record-breaking $6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 to just $2.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, in part due to economic and political uncertainty, according to a new report.
Despite these challenges, the country did see a number of good-sized deals, said the report titled "Venture Pulse Q1 2020: Global analysis of venture funding" from KPMG Private Enterprise.
The edtech sector was a big winner in Q1 20 with Byju's raising $400 million, Unacademy raising $110 million, and Aakash Educational announcing its acquisition of Meritnation. Mobility company Bounce also raised $150 million.
Initially, India was not as affected by COVID-19 in Q1, compared to China.
Concerns related to the pandemic grew later in the quarter, due in part to the fact India receives a significant amount of VC investment from international VC firms and corporates India has seen deals deferred as these investors wait to see how COVID-19 will affect businesses.
"VC investors are already starting to ask the question, 'How will your business be impacted by COVID-19?' This is a question everyone will be asking for the next few quarters," Nitish Poddar, Partner and National Leader -- Private Equity, KPMG in India said in a statement.
"Here in India, we are beginning to feel the full impact of the virus. Over the next quarter, while the pipeline will likely remain strong, deal flow is expected to slow down. A lot of deals will probably get deferred to the later half of the year," Poddar said.
While VC investment in India might be challenging in the short-term, it is expected to remain robust over the longer-term, said the report.
Edtech is expected to remain a very hot sector of VC investment, in addition to autotech, and healthtech related to fitness. Gaming could also see an uptick in VC investment in India.
Globally, in Q1 of 2020, VC-backed companies raised $61 billion across 4,260 deals.
VC investment globally remained quite robust in this quarter, primarily due to the strong pipeline of deals in many jurisdictions around the world, said the report.
In particular, VC investment in the US remained strong, led by a $2.25 billion raise by Waymo, a $1 billion raise by Generate Capital, and a $750 million raise by Quibi.
VC investment was also strong in Europe, led by a $500 million raise by Revolut and a $240 million raise by Lilium.
VC investment in Asia, however, fell significantly, despite $3 billion raises by both Indonesia-based Gojek and China-based Kuaishou, and a $1 billion raise by China-based edtech, Yuanfudao the last day of the quarter.
Deals activity dropped very sharply in Asia, driven primarily by a slowdown in China, the first to be affected by COVID-19, said the report.