- Buyouts were the highest in July 2022 with US$1.6 billion invested across five deals, a 45% y-o-y increase
- The infrastructure sector was the top sector in July 2022 with US$1.4 billion recorded across four deals, more than three times the value recorded last year
Mumbai, 11 July 2022: According to the IVCA-EY monthly PE/VC roundup, July 2022 recorded investments worth US$3 billion across 74 deals, including six large deals worth US$2.2 billion. Exits recorded US$322 million across nine deals in July 2022, the lowest number of exits since January 2021.
Vivek Soni, Partner and National Leader, Private Equity Services, EY said, “July 2022 recorded US$3 billion in PE/VC investments, 69% lower than the investments in July 2021. After remaining resilient for almost six months amid global headwinds of tightening liquidity and rising inflation, Indian PE/VC investment flows for the first time have shown some tepidness. Deals are taking longer to close as investors ask tough questions and take their time to process their deal underwriting thesis.
While start-up investments had propped up PE/VC investments for the past one and a half year, they recorded a sharp decline of 76% y-o-y. Buyouts was the only segment that recorded growth in July 2022 at US$1.6 billion compared to US$1.1 billion last year. Share of pure play PE/VC investments (excluding real estate and infrastructure sectors) too dropped to a low of 40% in July 2022, compared to 90% in July 2021 and 82% in June 2022.
PE/VC exits too declined by more than 70% both sequentially and on a y-o-y basis in the absence of large strategic and secondary deals. PE-backed IPOs, which were one of the defining features of PE/VC exits last year, continue to remain elusive in 2022.
As interest rates harden, we are witnessing a revival of PE/VC investments in hard assets after a gap of almost two years. Infrastructure was the top sector in July 2022 with US$1.4 billion in PE/VC investments across four deals, followed by the real estate sector with five deals worth US$411 million. While e-commerce has taken a backseat in 2022, new investment themes like media and entertainment have emerged over the past two years. Our spotlight section covers the PE/VC investment trends in the media and entertainment sector in detail.
With the US staring at a recession and further tightening by the FED and the RBI predicted, the easy monetary and fiscal policy era is behind us. Furthermore, with the continuing geo-political conflict putting additional strain on weakened European economies and the rising tensions in the South China sea area, the global economy is more vulnerable than ever before. While India has remained fairly resilient, it is feeling some pressure due to the falling rupee and rise in inflation. This rising cost of capital is causing more VC funds to emphasize on positive unit economics and curtailed cash burn rates while making investment decisions. This is expected to increase the disparity between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ and drive consolidation across sectors, with well-funded category leaders buying out those with shorter runways.”
PE/VC investments in July 2022 were the lowest in over a year, both in terms of value and volume. At US$3 billion, PE/VC investments in July 2022 were 69% lower than the value recorded in July 2021 (US$9.7 billion) and 40% lower than investments in June 2022 (US$4.9 billion). July 2022 recorded 74 deals, 45% lower than July 2021 (134 deals) and 37% lower than deals in June 2022 (118 deals). The share of pure play PE/VC investments (excluding real estate and infrastructure sectors) too dropped to a low of 40% in July 2022, compared to 90% in July 2021 and 82% in June 2022. The sharp drop in PE/VC investments was precipitated by a decline in both start-up and growth investments, each recording a decline of over 75% in value and over 30% in volume.
July 2022 recorded just six large deals (deals of value greater than or equal to US$100 million) aggregating US$2.2 billion, compared to 20 large deals worth US$8.3 billion in July 2021 and 12 deals worth US$3.0 billion in June 2022. The largest deal in July 2022 saw the Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus fund buy eight road assets of L&T for US$886 million.
By deal type, buyouts were the highest in July 2022 at US$1.6 billion across five deals (US$1.1 billion in July 2021 across nine deals), the highest value of buyouts in nine months. Start-up investments that have been receiving maximum PE/VC investments over the past year witnessed a sharp decline of 76% in terms of value and 44% in terms of volume, recording US$820 million across 54 deals (US$3.4 billion across 97 deals in July 2021). Growth investments too declined significantly, nearly 88% in terms of value and 31% in terms of volume, to record US$499 million across 11 deals (16 deals worth US$4.3 billion in July 2021). Credit investments recorded US$22 million across three deals (five deals worth US$678 million in July 2021). Private investments in public equity (PIPE investments) were almost non-existent with just one deal worth US$0.5 million (seven deals worth US$243 million in July 2021).
From a sector point of view, we are witnessing a revival of interest in hard assets after almost two years. Infrastructure was the top sector in July 2022 with US$1.4 billion in PE/VC investments across four deals (US$391 million across seven deals in July 2021), followed by the real estate sector with five deals worth US$411 million (seven deals worth US$560 million in July 2021). The third largest sector was financial services, with US$361 million recorded across 17 deals (US$440 million across 11 deals in July 2021).
Spotlight: Media and entertainment sector PE/VC deal trends
The media and entertainment sector has recorded almost US$11 billion in investments since 2017, with more than 70% of the investments coming in the past two years.
This growth has been largely driven by investments into online/technology driven media platforms across news, content, social media and gaming. According to the EY-FICCI report ‘Tuning into consumer — Indian M&E rebounds with a customer-centric approach’, the Indian media and entertainment sector grew by 16.4% to US$21.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow by 17% in 2022 to reach US$25.2 billion.
India is amongst the largest content producers in the world – with 150k hours of TV content, 2,500 hours of premium OTT content and 2,000 hours of filmed content produced in 2021. India has over 950 animation and VFX studios, 185k electronic artists and 139 universities — and is fast becoming the content back office of the world.
The penetration of digital infrastructure and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created conditions that were very conducive to the consumption of media online. Moreover, the lockdowns imposed during the pandemic further accelerated the change in how people consumed entertainment, with online medium fast gaining the share of eyeballs as well as wallet.
High-speed internet, smartphones with heavy-duty processing power and significant advances in computer graphics greatly enhanced the gaming experience, making it one of the fastest growing segments within the media and entertainment sector and thus attracting a lot of PE/VC investments. The gaming and sports segment, especially online gaming, accounted for a third of all PE/VC investment dollars and a quarter of all deals in the media and entertainment sector between 2017 and 2022 (till date).
The other segments that saw significant PE/VC investments include online new platforms, platforms for online content like web series, short videos and other user-generated content as well as social networking apps catering to different cohorts.
However, the competition in these segments is currently very fierce and many are very small in scale, targeting different niches. This is also reflected in the large number of deals with rather small ticket sizes. Nonetheless, some established players like Dailyhunt, Sharechat and Dream11 have seen large multi-million-dollar funding rounds.
July 2022 recorded nine exits worth US$322 million compared to US$1.2 billion recorded across 24 exits in July 2021 and US$2.0 billion across 18 exits in June 2022. July 2022 has recorded the lowest number of exits since January 2021.
The drought of PE-backed IPOs continued in July 2022 as well. Secondary and strategic exits too were sparse, recording one and three deals respectively. The largest exit in July 2022 was the US$202 exit by Blacksoil from its investment in projects of the real estate arm of Bollineni Group, (Krishnaiah Projects).
The only noteworthy exit in July 2022 was by Investcorp from ASG Hospitals (exit value undisclosed).
July 2022 recorded total fundraises of US$866 million across nine deals compared to US$726 million raised in June 2021. The largest fundraise in July 2022 was by Lightspeed India, which raised its fourth fund of US$500 million that will focus on seed to Series B investments, with growth capital coming from its global vehicles. The cheque sizes will range from US$ 500,000 to US$15 million.
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