The biggest change for technology startups came on November 8, when the government announced its decision to ban currency notes of Rs 500 and 1,000. Suddenly technology became a large driver for commerce. While retail sales in pockets dropped up to 50%, sales for e-tailers fell 20%. It was also a year of large cultural shifts – more number of buyers shopped online than ever before, and demonetisation added to the drive.
“When global competition stepped in, Indian companies went through multiple levels of devaluation – for example in the classic case of Flipkart vs Amazon, Uber vs Ola, and InMobi vs Facebook,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO of Greyhound Research.
Gogia, however, said the “correction” was needed. Companies raised capital at high valuations, but the business model was not sustainable. “Investors need exits, which are not possible without good unit economics,” he added.