Late stage funding dries up for start-ups: Merisis

Financial Express

Late-stage money for many start-ups in the country is drying up, with Series B and C funding down about 25-30 per cent over last year, according to investment banking firm Merisis Advisors.

Investors are now instead looking at more early-stage (seed and Series A) investments.

“Many of the start-ups have a long gestation period and high burn rate. A shake-down has to happen and while fresh investments are coming in, they are fewer. Series B and C funding has come down about 25-30 per cent from last year,” Merisis Advisors’ co-founder Sumir Verma said.

There are too many me-too start-ups in the market and unless there is something uniquely different, it is very difficult for start ups to raise capital, especially at late stages, he added.

IndiaMART Director Dinesh Gulati agreed. “It is a very real scenario. From a glut of funding across sizes some months ago, the ticket size is now going down,” he said.

He added that investors are becoming increasingly cautious.

“You cannot just raise and burn cash. There has to be some unit economics. Companies with a right business model will definitely survive in the long run,” Gulati said.

He said it is very encouraging that entrepreneurs are now themselves turning into investors and guiding start-ups.

“This is a very encouraging trend and will only go up. They know the challenges as well as the opportunities and can mentor the younger lot with both their products and go-to-market strategy,” he said.