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NEW DELHI : Private equity and venture capital firms invested $77 billion in 1,266 deals in 2021, a 62% increase from the $47.5 billion they pumped in 923 deals a year ago, according to a report by the Indian Venture and Alternate Capital Association (IVCA) and consultancy firm EY.

The total investment figure included close to $11 billion invested in Reliance in 2021.

During the same period, startups attracted close to $29 billion, or about 37% of the total investments, propelling the Indian startup ecosystem to the third place in the world after the US and China by displacing the UK, the IVCA-EY report said.

India did this by becoming home to 44 new unicorns, or startups valued at over $1 billion.

Large deals valued at more than $100 million garnered about $58 billion across 164 transactions, compared with 85 large deals valued at about $38 billion in 2020, according to the report released on Tuesday.

Topping the largest deals of the year was Flipkart’s $3.6 billion fundraise led by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Walmart at a valuation of $37.6 billion.

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Listed technology firms Mphasis and Hexaware Technologies were involved in buyout deals worth $2.8 billion and $3 billion respectively during the year.

Notably, sectors such as e-commerce, technology and financial services attracted close to $40.5 billion in 2021, compared with $11 billion in 2020.

Not only did 2021 witness investments peak, but exits during the year also topped at $43 billion across 280 transactions, more than seven times the $6 billion worth of exits across 151 transactions in 2020.

Investors that exited via strategic sales were the highest in terms of value and volume in 2021 at $16.9 billion across 93 deals, followed by exits via secondary sales worth $14.4 billion across 56 deals, which is more than the value recorded in the previous seven years combined, according to the report.

FY21 was also a record year for PE/VC-backed IPOs with exits worth $5.1 billion across 44 IPOs, twice the previous high of 22 PE/VC-backed IPOs in 2017.

In the largest exit in 2021, CPPIB and Partners Group sold their stake in GlobaLogic to Hitachi, which bought 90% stake for $8.64 billion as part of a strategic investment.

Baring PE Asia sold Hexaware Technologies to an affiliate of Carlyle for $3 billion.

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