Prosus, the massive Amsterdam-based investor, recently released half-yearly financial data to celebrate its one-year anniversary. The data gives investors an understanding of how its India portfolio performed over the first half of the financial year 2023–24 (FY24). The information clarifies noteworthy accomplishments, difficulties, and the general trend of investments in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Meesho Shines Bright:
At the forefront of Prosus’ India portfolio is Meesho, the ecommerce major, emerging as a standout performer with an internal return rate (IRR) of 32%. This success cements Meesho’s position as a robust player in the highly competitive Indian ecommerce landscape.
Despite ElasticRun nearly doubling its losses to INR 618.82 Cr in FY23, it secured the second-best position in Prosus’ India portfolio, boasting an IRR of 31%. This signals resilience and potential for growth even in challenging circumstances.
PayU India’s Fintech Triumph:
The fintech behemoth PayU India performed remarkably well, with returns that over thirty percent. Revenue increased by 32% YoY to $497 million in H1 FY24, demonstrating the company’s substantial profitability gains in addition to growth. The strategic decision to combine the fintech and payments verticals has proven to be successful overall.
Swiggy’s Steady Rise:
Swiggy, the foodtech decacorn, achieved an IRR of 7% in H1 FY24, attributing its success to strong growth in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and a reduction in trading losses. With a 28% YoY surge in GMV and a notable decline in trading losses, Swiggy’s core food-delivery business played a pivotal role in its positive performance.
On the flip side, epharmacy major PharmEasy found itself at the bottom of the performance ladder, ending up as the biggest underperformer with an IRR of -41% in H1 FY24. This raises questions about the challenges faced by companies operating in the e-pharmacy sector in India.
BYJU’S, a troubled edtech decacorn, reported an IRR of -24% in H1 FY24. The situation was compounded by Prosus marking down the valuation of BYJU’S to under $3 Bn, reflecting an 85% decline from its previous valuation during the last fund raise. This highlights the struggles faced by some players in the edtech space.
Prosus’ Operating Loss:
Despite the successes, Prosus faced an operating loss of $415 Mn in H1 FY24, up from $329 Mn in H1 FY23. A significant portion of these losses can be attributed to the recognition of impairment loss related to edtech investments, showcasing the complexities of the Indian market and the challenges investors may encounter.
Market Sentiment and Startup Focus:
Prosus’s inconsistent performance across its India portfolio is indicative of how the country’s startup scene is changing. The results have been impacted by the better attitude in the market and entrepreneurs’ renewed emphasis on sustainability and profitability. For example, Meesho’s success can be attributed to its ability to adjust to market demands and produce solid financial results.
Potential Impact on the Ecosystem:
The performance of key players like Meesho, ElasticRun, and PayU India underscores the potential for growth in ecommerce and fintech sectors in India. However, the struggles of PharmEasy and BYJU’S serve as cautionary tales, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and strategic decision-making in the dynamic Indian market.
Businesses have a chance to reassess their plans as Prosus assesses its portfolio in India halfway through FY24. It could be necessary to reevaluate company models and market positioning for underperformers. On the other hand, it will be crucial for success stories like Meesho and PayU India to keep up the momentum and take advantage of the favorable market attitude.
To sum up, Prosus’ mid-year assessment of its India portfolio provides a nuanced view of the current situation within the Indian startup scene. While accomplishments are acknowledged, the difficulties that some industries and businesses face point to the necessity of ongoing adaptation and strategic planning. The lessons from the first half of FY24 will probably influence the future course of these significant participants in the Indian market as the second half develops.