Until May 2020, the Indian food-delivery startup Zomato’s fortunes seemed firmly tied to the purse strings of China’s Alibaba Group Holding — its largest investor owning nearly a third of the company via investment arm Ant Financial. Alibaba also had the required heft to lead the unicorn’s future funding rounds. No other single large influential investor was seen on the horizon.
But what a difference a few months can make!
Since May, Zomato has raised $660 million from non-Alibaba investors, including Tiger Global Management, sovereign wealth fund Temasek, Fidelity and Mirae. As Zomato’s fortunes have delinked from that of Alibaba, so have the rest of India’s. The government’s ban on Chinese investments in April last year after the border conflict was expected to jolt the startup ecosystem because of the perceived dependence on Chinese investments by Indian startups.
Eight months on, the reality is starkly - and pleasantly - different.