Startups in India

unicorns in India as of March 2024.

>$

billion is the combined valuation of India's unicorns as of August 2023.

K

startup ecosystem in 2018.

states with dedicated startup policy.

Startups help drive a nation’s economy forward as a key engine of economic growth. With the count of startups increasing by the day, PwC India’s startup practice is designed to empower emerging businesses, disrupt industries, and drive success in the dynamic landscape of new-age tech. Leveraging the firm’s extensive knowledge, strategic insights, and proven methodologies, PwC aims to be your trusted partner on your journey to success.

Are you ready to revolutionise your startup journey? Partner with PwC to access unparalleled expertise, strategic guidance, and a committed team dedicated to your startup journey. Contact us today to take the first step toward building a resilient startup.

overview img
Startup Scaleup Practice (SSP)

Startup scaleup practice (SSP)

  • Investment strategy - PwC India’s investment team advises investors and startups on commercial due diligence and strategy engagements, supports startup clients with strategic decisions that drive growth (both organic and inorganic) through market assessment and feasibility studies, competitive benchmarking and profiling, growth strategy, turnaround strategy, location assessment, business plan review and analysis etc.
  • Diligence – PwC India provides vendor due diligence that helps in avoiding ‘late surprises’ and the risk of value destruction during buy-side due diligence for startups looking to raise startups funding or divest their business.
  • Valuation - By bringing together professionals with extensive valuation, technical accounting, corporate finance, tax, strategy, and deep industry experience, PwC India’s valuation advisory service offers an integrated approach to help you measure, analyse and report on a broad range of valuation issues.
  • Tax advisory - PwC India provides end-to-end solutions for different types of domestic and cross-border transactions with a tailored approach that offers the right balance of functional, regional and industry expertise on each transaction.
  • Data analytics - Opt for end-to-end consulting in data and analytics across industries as well as advice on how to optimise data assets and make right decisions faster with actionable insights.
  • Regulatory support

Financing

The team of experts connects parties including companies, venture capital/ venture debt funds, banks, NBFCs etc; structures transactions based on commercial objectives; prepares and finalises transaction documents; and closes (pre-closing, closing and post-closing) actions including obtaining approvals, corporate resolutions, filings with regulatory authorities, etc.

Mergers and acquisitions

PwC India’s team provides assistance in the valuation of shares/assets/business; prepares a comprehensive structure plan for the sale/acquisition/merger transactions and advises on potential regulatory and tax implications of such transactions; undertakes vendor due diligence and preparation, negotiation and finalisation of the transaction documents; and closes (pre-closing, closing and post-closing) actions including obtaining approvals, corporate resolutions, filings with regulatory authorities, etc.

Restructuring

PwC’s team of experts advises parties on the need for structuring and restructuring by reviewing the current business models/operations, regulatory and/or tax benefits of carrying out such restructuring, prepares and finalises the transaction documents and closes (pre-closing, closing and post-closing) actions including obtaining approvals, corporate resolutions, filings with regulatory authorities, etc.

Corporate compliance

PwC India helps companies with the compliance matters relating to key business contracts, proposes corporate actions under the Companies Act, 2013, assists in secretarial/corporate compliance/ongoing compliance and reporting requirements and helps in verifying compliance with applicable foreign exchange laws and other sector specific legislations.

Startup and employment

PwC India assists in the identification of labor law legislations applicable to the business of the company, provide advice on the rules and norms governing the termination/retrenchment/layoff of employees, prepare templates of employment contracts and employment policy.

Fundraise - We partner with high growth startups across a wide range of sectors and regions for fund-raising and beyond and help startups achieve a successful fund-raise on good terms, giving them more time to focus on growing their business.

  • Revenue enhancement
  • Cost optimisation
  • HR consulting: PwC India help startups evaluate and select the alternatives that work best for them - employee stock purchase scheme (ESPS), employee stock option plans (ESOPs) and stock appreciation rights (SARs).
  • Alliances and M&A
  • Risk consulting forensic:The team focuses on two primary areas - Intelligence and anti-bribery and corruption.
    1. Intelligence - PwC India works with a host of Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) firms to provide integrity due diligence services on startup targets by conducting public domain/desktop research and gathering intelligence to identify red flags as well as business practices. The firm’s solutions assist the client (at the pre-investment stage) with their investment decision and also at times enable them to negotiate terms and valuation.
    2. Anti-bribery and corruption - PwC assists clients in conducting anti-bribery and corruption (ABAC) due diligence on startup targets, encompassing discussions with key managerial personnel of the target to evaluate the target's culture and compliance protocols, third-party relationships, and handling of concerns reported by employees. By delving deep into the target's ethical framework, PwC India’s ABAC due diligence framework provides insights to investors on regulatory compliance, enabling them to make informed decisions and mitigate risks through Conditions Precedent (CP) and Conditions Subsequent (CS).
  • ESG solutions: PwC’s approach to ESG is holistic and well-integrated with how startups do business. The firm’s team of experts help startups understand where to begin by developing their ESG strategy and building an achievable roadmap.
  • IPO readiness: PwC India’s IPO accelerator helps you to assess your IPO readiness through a detailed dipstick diagnostic to identify potential bottlenecks, risks, and areas for improvement. The diagnosis covers operational efficiency, growth acceleration, human resources and information technology strategy, risk management framework, ESG preparedness, financial reporting, corporate governance and beyond. The team also prescribes tailored strategies for enhanced value, facilitates preparing and project managing for a compelling IPO and making a stellar market debut.
  • Governance model: The firm also assists startups in setting up an effective and efficient governance framework, fraud risk management, monitoring and incident management programme that corresponds to their requirements.
  • VCiD: PwC’s comprehensive support services are committed to empower startups not only to secure funding but to thrive post-deal and are tailored to ensure a smooth transition and sustainable growth making it easier for the startups to embark on the post-deal journey. The multifaceted approach covers the following key aspects :
    1. Financial reporting and governance: It involves a thorough review and enhancement of existing financial reporting/MIS processes, implementation of robust monthly MIS/reporting, ensuring alignment with financial numbers, establishment of governance frameworks for financial reporting, and on-ground support to finance and accounting teams for seamless monthly close and MIS.
    2. HR processes and organisation structure: It involves in-depth review of organisational structure, identifying and addressing key gaps, evaluation and implementation of crucial HR processes (hire to retire, performance management, employee engagement), development of key HR KPIs and reporting mechanisms and creation of HR dashboards and assessment of HRMS tools for efficiency.
    3. Organisation-wide diagnostic: It involves comprehensive examination of people, processes, and systems to identify gaps; and detailed step-by-step plan for remediation across key business processes, organisational structure, people dependencies, financial reporting, tech enablement, automation, and business KPIs.
    4. Deal readiness diagnostic and support: It involves conducting a thorough financial analysis and health check, preparing for diligence through a readiness assessment, ensuring compliance health through an extensive check, identifying and addressing gaps in key processes, documentation, and organisational structure, proactively identifying potential deal breakers and strategising mitigation plans.

PwC India’s platform serves as a gateway to strategic partnerships and financial support, providing a unique blend of advantages for startups. Engage with the firm’s team of experts to elevate your investor journey. Whether you seek long-term stability through family offices or strategic growth with PE and VC investments, PwC’s network provides the crucial connections and support needed to propel your business forward.

Explore the comprehensive suite of PwC-tailored services for portfolio companies within Venture Capital and Private Equity funds through the PwC Portfolio Company Programme. The programme is defined by a vision to achieve end-to-end business partnerships and management aids under one roof. The programme employs PwC’s global network and B2B alliances to assist clients find value-added.

 

PwC’s government and PSU advisory services aim to bridge the gap between innovative startups and the vast opportunities present in the public sector. With a focus on strategic partnerships, regulatory acumen, and sustainable growth, we empower startups to thrive in the government and PSU landscape. Partner with us to unlock the full potential of your startup's journey in the public sector.

Partnering with incubators and accelerators is the key to navigating and thriving in the competitive startup landscape. Receive strategic guidance from seasoned professionals, access to an extensive network of industry experts and investors as well as tapping into exclusive funding opportunities to fuel your startup's growth. From refining your business model to gaining international traction, PwC India is committed to providing the resources, guidance, and connections needed to accelerate your startup's journey and achieve sustainable success.

#pwcforstartups - PwC Startup services India

PwC recognises that challenges faced by start-ups change as the business scales. With a rapid growth of startups in India, PwC India’s startups consultancy provides necessary insights and advice needed by start-up founders and management build a resilient company

Start-up Perspectives: India start-up deals tracker

Indian startups had a blockbuster CY21 with approximately USD 35 billion raised, a 3x increase compared to CY20 and largely driven by FinTech, EdTech and SaaS.

Click here to read more

We can see that the base of the companies in the growth stage and late-stage deals have improved significantly in CY21, depicting a stronger base of companies having the potential to reach unicorn status. With market sentiments favourably inclined towards startups, and the large base of scaled startup companies at the end of CY21, we expect the startups unicorn tally to go well beyond 100 by the end of 2022.

Amit Nawka, Partner – Deals & Startups Leader, PwC India

Despite uncertainties in the global economic environment, startups in India have continued to attract capital, particularly in the growth capital stage. As more start-ups mature, conversations around corporate governance are now becoming mainstream. It will become increasingly important for startups in India to design a corporate governance road-map synced with organisational growth aspirations.

Amit Nawka, Partner - Deals & India Startups Leader, PwC India

Startup perspectives

PwC supports the Indian startup ecosystem across their entire value chain – from starting up a new business, disrupting the existing status quo and to sustaining market leadership thereafter. To help analyse the latest trends in the startup space in India, PwC speaks to industry experts about startup valuation in India, growth strategy, global expansion plans and the outlook for startups operating in various segments.

Ep 8: Chaitali Mukherjee, Partner & Leader - HR Transformation, PwC India discusses what startup founders can keep in mind while creating an HR strategy

Playback of this video is not currently available

16:44


Playback of this video is not currently available

9:51

Ep 7: Mohit Jhawar, Director - Corporate Development at Flipkart discusses how startups in India can tide over global startups funding slowdown and emerge stronger.

Playback of this video is not currently available

9:12

Ep 6: Mohanjit Jolly, Partner at Iron Pillar talks about how consolidation is likely to play out during the global startups funding slowdown and what actions startup founders can take to ride out this phase.

Playback of this video is not currently available

13:51

Ep 5: Kanwaljit Singh from Fireside Ventures discusses how VC funds are integrating ESG in their investment philosophy.

Load More

Playback of this video is not currently available

11:01

Ep 4: Pankaj from W Health Ventures discusses the future of healthcare startups in India

Playback of this video is not currently available

8:50

Ep 3: Sandeep Laxman from AWS on how alliances are changing the start-up ecosystem

Playback of this video is not currently available

11:10

Ep 2: Ganesh Rengaswamy from Quona Capital on the latest trends in the India  fintech startups ecosystem.

Playback of this video is not currently available

9:17

Ep 1: Sumit Jain from Sistema on what is making the Indian B2B e-commerce space tick


Hear from PwC experts at CII ICONN 2022

PwC is the knowledge partner for ICONN 2022

Playback of this video is not currently available

1:33:12

Session on Last Mile Logistics: Opportunity for Startups in India

Playback of this video is not currently available

2:28:21

Electric vehicles - The Future of mobility

Playback of this video is not currently available

1:56:51

Investing in the clean energy domain

Playback of this video is not currently available

54:05

India - Singapore Startup Scale-up Strategies

I am…

I want to…

Vendor due diligence services

Vendor due diligence services

For start-ups looking to raise startups funding or divest their business, one of our startup services includes vendor due diligence which helps in avoiding ‘late surprises’ and the risk of value destruction during buy-side due diligence. Not much time would be spent on buyer or investor due diligence which, in turn, minimises disruption to the ongoing business operations. 

Global/ overseas expansion

Global/ overseas expansion

We partner with start-ups in their global expansion journey (whether organic/ inorganic) and advise on investment structures, jurisdictional analysis, business model reviews, startups funding mechanisms, transfer pricing policies, Indian regulatory compliances and other requirements by leveraging the experience of our global network.

Raise private equity funds

Raise private equity funds

We partner with high growth Start-ups across a wide range of sectors and regions for fund-raising and beyond. We help start-ups achieve a successful fund-raise on good terms, giving them more time to focus on growing their business.

Being and staying compliant

Becoming and staying compliant

A business has to undertake multiple compliances across jurisdictions. As businesses grow, they struggle to keep up with compliances in a timely manner. Further, given the normal rate of attrition in organisations, it becomes difficult for them to track documents. We assist  startups in India in automating the process of undertaking the requisite compliances through our technology solutions. The solutions are tailored based on industry and global presence and enable real-time monitoring.

Employee compensation strategies

Employee compensation strategies

Hiring the best talent is key to a start-up’s success. We help start-ups evaluate and select the alternatives that work best for them – employee stock purchase scheme (ESPS), employee stock option plans (ESOPs) and stock appreciation rights (SARs).

Cybersecurity icon

Cybersecurity

When it comes to cybersecurity, no business is too small to be targeted by hackers. With data having become the new oil, there has been a tremendous shift in the focus and motive of cyberattacks. One of our startup advisory services include helping start-ups develop an architecture to secure themselves against the risk of cyberattacks.

IPO strategy

IPO strategy and startup IPO regulations.

An initial public offering (IPO) is a cornerstone event for an organisation, and preparation for “being public” is just as important as preparation for “going public.” Gaining maximum value from an IPO requires a clear understanding of startup IPO regulations, confidence, decisiveness and the right foundation for success.

We assist start-ups in evaluating the various alternatives for going public –Indian/ overseas listing/ special purpose acquisition vehicles, etc. – to help maximise returns for shareholders.

Data and analytics

Data and analytics

Our startup services team brings end-to-end consulting capabilities for data and analytics across industries. We can help start-ups optimise data assets and make the right decisions faster by providing them actionable insights and business outcomes using AI/ ML-based analytics solutions. In addition, we help start-ups find new sources of revenue and capitalise on the untapped business intelligence they already own.

Building a responsible business: Value-led ESG

Building a responsible business: Value-led ESG

For start-ups, transparency and gaining investor confidence in value creation are imperative. We help such companies navigate this journey. Our approach to ESG is holistic and well-integrated with how start-ups do business. We help start-ups understand where to begin by developing their ESG strategy and building an achievable roadmap. We also empower start-ups to present non-financial value creation in a way that India startup investors, customers and their supply chain partners appreciate.

Ethics and governance

Ethics and governance

A strong governance framework helps a business supervise the growth of startups in India, ensure transparency, prevent revenue leakages, and instil organisational culture, which in turn enhances its overall brand value. We assist start-ups in setting up an effective and efficient governance framework, fraud risk management, monitoring and incident management programme that corresponds to their requirements.

Growth through eXperience (GtX)

Growth of startups in India through eXperience (GtX)

We support in benchmarking start-up’s current customer experience against industry through a customer experience (CX) audit. Further, support in improving user experience (UX)/user interface (UI), brand refresh and renew GTM (Go to Markets).

I want to…

Market and business model assessment

The startup world is defined by bold bets taken by visionary entrepreneurs on disruptive themes. However, selecting the right investment targets with sound future-ready business models is as much a craft as it is a science, especially when data is hard to come by.

PwC combines deep primary research capabilities, with robust understanding of end-use sectors and vast experience in startup business models - to help add weight and logic to complex investment decisions. What's more - we help you get these customised insights at a rapid pace, so that your investment decisions align to the pace of your deal process.

Market and business model assessment - PwC India

Conduct due diligence

Any organisation considering a potential deal must evaluate all pertinent parameters of the investment. An unbiased due diligence is necessary as it analyses and validates all financial, commercial, operational and strategic aspects of the deal.

PwC can assist you in identifying key business drivers and KPIs, value adjustments and other significant matters to ensure that you make an informed decision on the transaction.

Conduct due diligence

Fixing the deal value

During any investment decision - questions often arise: What is the fair value? What maximum price should be paid? At the same time, various stakeholders and regulators are demanding greater transparency through fair value reporting and emphasising on the importance of valuations.

PwC brings together professionals with extensive valuation, technical accounting, corporate finance, tax, strategy, and deep industry experience to help you measure, analyse and report on a broad range of valuation issues.

Fixing the deal value

Assess technology robustness

As organisations pivot toward becoming digital, more data is generated exponentially and shared among organisations, business partners and customers.

PwC can help you in IT due diligence procedures to assess the robustness of the target’s IT platform and its performance efficiency.

Assess technology robustness

Regulatory assessment

The world of regulation is continually evolving. All regulated and designated businesses face regulatory challenges, regardless of size or sector. Taking a proactive approach to regulatory compliance is the best way businesses can prepare and respond to these changes to mitigate risk and protect themselves.

PwC can help you understand target’s compliance with regulatory challenges, while strengthening trust.

Regulatory assessment

Videos

Playback of this video is not currently available

1:06:28

Sumit Jain from Sistema on what is making the Indian B2B e-commerce space tick

Sumit on the value proposition, growth of B2B e-commerce startups and why multiple unicorns have emerged from the space.

Playback of this video is not currently available

9:30

Ganesh Rengaswamy from Quona on what’s next for India’s fintech startups

Watch Ganesh discuss platformisation, regulatory compliance and global trends impacting the fintech space in India.

Playback of this video is not currently available

1:06:28

Sandeep Laxman from AWS on how alliances are changing the startup ecosystem

Know how big organisations are partnering with new-age tech startups and what is driving these strategic alliances.

PwC's startup insights

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

PwC's quarterly startup insights

Required fields are marked with an asterisk(*)

Question 1:

What is the biggest challenge you face as a startup?*

Question 2:

What is your key focus during the growth phase?

By submitting your contact information you acknowledge that you have read the privacy statement and that you consent to our processing the data in accordance with that privacy statement including international transfers. If you change your mind at any time about wishing to receive material from us you can send an e-mail to privacy@pwc.com.

Startup, scaleup playlist

PwC's curated podcast playlist, built to help you tackle your most pressing issues as a startup in today's world

Startup, scaleup playlist

{{filterContent.facetedTitle}}

{{contentList.dataService.numberHits}} {{contentList.dataService.numberHits == 1 ? 'result' : 'results'}}
{{contentList.loadingText}}
Amit Nawka

Amit Nawka

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

{{filterContent.facetedTitle}}

{{contentList.loadingText}}

Contact us

Amarjeet Makhija

Partner & Leader - StartUps, PwC India

Email

Sourabh Golicha

Associate Director - Startups in India, Market Lead - Startups & Unicorn Practice, PwC India

Email

Follow PwC India

Required fields are marked with an asterisk(*)

By submitting your email address, you acknowledge that you have read the Privacy Statement and that you consent to our processing data in accordance with the Privacy Statement (including international transfers). If you change your mind at any time about wishing to receive the information from us, you can send us an email message using the Contact Us page.

Hide