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Why you have to pay attention to the Indian startup scene

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange. Data shows that India’s venture capital scene has grown sharply in recent years. Let’s dig in.

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Back in August during Y Combinator’s two-day demo extravaganza, TechCrunch noted a number of startups from India that stood out from the batch. Names like Bikayi (e-commerce tools), Decentro (consumer banking APIs), Farmako Healthcare (digital health records) and MedPiper Technologies (helping hire health professionals) joined our list of favorites from the batch.

Seeing so many India-focused startups in the mix wasn’t a fluke. Data shows that India’s venture capital scene has grown sharply in recent years. 2019 was the country’s biggest ever in terms of venture dollars invested, with Bain counting $10 billion during the year.

In 2020, the third quarter brought the country’s venture capital scene back to form. After a somewhat average start to the year, Indian startups saw their venture capital investment fall to just $1.5 billion in Q2, the lowest quarterly tally since 2016. But data via KPMG and PitchBook make it plain that Q3 was a rebound, with $3.6 billion invested into Indian startups during the three-month period.

That figure was not a historical record, mind; the Q3 total looks to be only the fourth-biggest VC quarter in India’s startup history since at least 2013 and, perhaps, ever. But it was a good bounce-back during a crippling pandemic all the same. The country’s VC deal count also rebounded a bit in the third quarter, with some of that money landing in big chunks, including a $500 million investment into Byju’s this September.

Smaller startups are also seeing strong results. Bikayi is one such startup. TechCrunch caught up with the company via email, digging into its post-Demo Day results. Its monthly recurring revenue (MRR)…

Alex Wilhelm

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