When we established Accel’s first fund in India in 2005, just one in fifty Indians had access to the Internet. Even so, there were early signs indicating a significant tech ecosystem could be built across the region: a young and vibrant pool of technical talent, an emerging middle class with increasing means to consume, and individuals with aspirations to innovate and build. All that was needed was time and a spark of creativity to set it in motion.
India has now become a startup powerhouse. Indian startups raised $42 billion in the year 2021 alone, up from $11.5 billion in the previous year. India also saw more unicorns created in 2021 than in all the previous years combined.
We are still at the beginning of this journey and are more enthusiastic than ever to support the entrepreneurs and companies of tomorrow. Today, we are announcing Accel’s seventh fund for companies in India: $650 million of new capital for teams across India and Southeast Asia, taking our total commitment to the region to over $2 billion.
Our History in India and Southeast Asia
Accel has partnered with founders in India from the very earliest stages, supporting them as they work to create exceptional companies. Flipkart and Freshworks, two of the most iconic companies that emerged from the region in recent years, are examples of companies backed by Accel from their initial seed rounds through all subsequent financings. We have been the first, or among the earliest partner to many other category-defining startups in India such as: Acko, Blackbuck, BrowserStack, Chargebee, CultFit, FalconX, Infra.Market, Mensa, MindTickle, Moglix, Spinny, Swiggy, UrbanCompany, Vedantu, Zetwerk, Zenoti, and others.
In Southeast Asia, the global Accel team has backed leading companies such as Pluang, Xendit, Axie Infinity, Nansen, and Astro. The opportunity to build breakout, innovative companies in this region is enormous, and we look forward to expanding on our current partnerships as well as building new ones.
The Path Forward
India currently has 200 million digitally transacting consumers, a number that is expected to grow to 500 million in the next five years. As we look towards the next decade, we expect digital adoption in India and Southeast Asia to only accelerate. We see this trend playing out not only in categories like financial services and e-commerce, but also across core sectors like agriculture, education, insurance, logistics, healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing. And, of course, there is no shortage of aspiring entrepreneurs focused on enterprise technology and Web3, both areas we see India gaining increasing share on the global stage.
Today and in the years to come, our aim remains unchanged: to be the first partner to exceptional founders and teams across the globe. In India and Southeast Asia we are the first institutional investor in over 85% of our investments, and 95% of our investments are Seed or Series A. We continue to expand our commitment to startup founders and entrepreneurs in India through programs such as SeedToScale and Atoms.
We are deeply grateful for the trust placed on us by the teams with whom we partner, and by the Limited Partners who share in our vision for investing in the region. We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and partner with the next generation of bold, exceptional entrepreneurs who are shaping an exciting future for us all.
- The Accel team in India