Cash-strapped startup executives fade from India’s luxury housing space – Times of India

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Gone are the days when startup executives dominated India’s most extravagant real estate purchases. As 2023 witnessed a drastic plunge in both startup funding and employee stock option (ESOP) cashouts, their presence in the country’s luxury housing market dwindled significantly.
According to data from Zapkey (seen by Moneycontrol), in 2022, 12 of India’s priciest property deals were bagged by startup executives.Meanwhile, only six startup executives bought these properties in 2023. This reflects the tightening belts in the startup ecosystem.
How startups market declined in 2023
The report also claims a 62% drop in ESOP cashout events, plummeting from 42 in 2022 to a mere 16 last year. This shows the dramatic crash in startup funding, which nosedived from $2.4 billion in 2022 to $814 million in 2023.
Sandeep Reddy, co-founder of Zapkey, explained, “The bigger property deals also jumped in price last year. Transactions in the Rs 100-300 crore range saw a significant rise, while startup folks typically stick to the sub-Rs 50 crore segment.”

As the luxury housing market in India continues to thrive, the startup crowd has been relegated to the sidelines. The report suggests that the ESOP cashouts and lavish property acquisitions have dimmed for now and has been replaced by a cautious, cost-conscious approach.

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Startup executives who bought exotic properties in 2023
In 2023, notable property acquisitions within India showcased diverse investment profiles. Radhakishan Damani, founder of DMart, led the pack with a substantial purchase valued at Rs 1,238 crore. Meanwhile, Bhanu Chopra, managing director of Rategain, made the most significant buy within the startup ecosystem, but at a comparatively lower value of Rs 127.48 crore.
On the other hand, Peyush Bansal, the chief of Lenskart and the sole unicorn founder in the rankings, made an Rs 18 crore property acquisition in Delhi’s Neeti Bagh.

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