“It’s a structural shift,” said Rahul Malhotra, an analyst at Bernstein. “Regulation has improved, companies are scaling, fundamentals are there. And the market is still underpenetrated.”
Chinese investors and companies are the most likely to lose out if India’s tech boom gains momentum. Once among the most active investors in India, companies like Ant Group, Zomato’s second-largest shareholder, have been mostly forced to watch from the sidelines due to a new regulation that requires companies from India’s neighboring countries including China to seek government approval before making an investment. Leading the latest wave of funding rounds are U.S. investors like Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital, which have raised billions of dollars for new funds in recent months.
The growing number of deep-pocketed startups will also intensify competition between Chinese tech companies. Those operating in India have already been hit hard by the Indian government’s ban on more than 200 Chinese apps last year following a deadly border clash.
Chargebee, which has offices in India’s Chennai as well as San Francisco, says the majority of its 3,500 customers are already from the U.S. and Europe. After raising $125 million at a $1.4 billion valuation, it plans to expand its footprint to Asian markets like India, Japan and Southeast Asia, according to a spokesperson.