Edtech, gaming to attract funding even in COVID-19 crisis: Rohit Sood, Bertelsmann India

The covid-19 crisis has shrunk the investment appetite for startups globally in 2020. In India, venture capital (VC) investments have fallen sharply to $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse report, reflecting the challenging times for startups in the ongoing economic slowdown. While the deal pipeline remains relatively robust in India, deal flow may become slow. Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), the VC fund of Bertelsmann, focuses on Series B and C stage investments in startups in the digital, education, media and services sectors. In an interview with Mint, Rohit Sood, principal, BII, spoke about the investment climate in the country and the impact on international funding amid the pandemic. Edited excerpts:

What kind of a dip did you witness in VC deals during the covid crisis in March-May? Will that continue?

There was an immediate dip in activity towards end of March and most of April, as all investors were figuring out the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on their portfolios. But things have started to pick up in May as there is still a lot of dry powder out there. So far, only the deals in the existing pipelines were getting most attention, now the key question is whether enough investors will be comfortable closing deals remotely. We expect the usual suspects to start picking pace soon but international investors with no or limited teams on the ground will probably delay investments due to lack of travel.

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