Invesco cuts Swiggy valuation by half to $5.5 billion

Invesco, which led Swiggy's previous round, has marked down the Indian food delivery giant's valuation in its holding to about $5.5 billion, according to a filing.

This revised valuation, as of January 31, 2023, represents a striking 48.6% decrease from the $10.7 billion valuation Invesco had previously attributed to the startup during a funding round the Atlanta-headquartered firm led last year.

This marks the second occasion in recent quarters that Invesco has substantially altered Swiggy's valuation. In October, Invesco had already reduced the valuation of its holding in Swiggy to $8 billion.

This updated valuation now aligns Swiggy, which also counts Prosus Ventures, Accel and SoftBank among its backers, with its chief publicly traded competitor, Zomato, which at one point boasted a market capitalization exceeding $13 billion. However, Zomato's market cap has since experienced a downturn, closing Monday's trading session at roughly $6.78 billion.

It's the season of valuation markdowns for startups globally.

BlackRock recently cut the valuation of Byju’s, which is India’s most valuable startup at $22 billion, by nearly half, to $11.5 billion. However, Fidelity, another giant U.S. investor, has largely kept its holdings in Indian startups Meesho and Pine Labs unchanged, according to an analysis of its recent filings.

The recent valuation reductions bring a fresh perspective to the effects of waning global market conditions on Indian startups. Last year witnessed a decline in funding activity within the Indian startup ecosystem, but the valuations of many larger startups remained unchanged as they either raised capital via convertible notes (thus deferring price discovery to a later stage) or opted not to raise funds at all.

SoftBank Group's founder and CEO, Masayoshi Son, warned last year that the funding freeze for startups could persist as some unicorn companies were reluctant to accept lower valuations during new funding negotiations.

It is crucial, however, to recognize that investors assess the equity value of their existing startup portfolios in diverse ways. Consequently, a single investor's valuation adjustment, no matter how significant, does not necessarily mirror the opinions of other investors, and in some cases, even the startups themselves.

Invesco states that the performance of "market participants" is one of the factors it considers when determining the valuation of its portfolio startups. Notably, during the January period when Swiggy's valuation was adjusted, Zomato's market cap was trading significantly lower than its current level. Consequently, it is plausible that Invesco's perception of Swiggy's valuation may have improved in the following months, as the market conditions evolved.