ⓘ Featured image: Ankur Jain, Founder of B9 Beverages, the parent company of Bira91
India’s popular beer brand Bira91 on April 24 made the announcement of its latest bridge investment round of $20 million led by Sequoia India and Belgium’s Sofina Capital with participation from Sixth Sense Ventures, Korean private equity firm Neoplux and a few family offices. The total outflow of the round comes to a total of $30 million for Bira91.
Headquartered in Delhi, Bira91 has presence across India, US, and Asia-Pacific regions. The company will utilise the fresh funds to expand its business in India and scale its footprint.
The funding round came in the time when the Indian Home Ministry has categorised liquor as a non-essential amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the nationwide lockdown.
In a conversation with Entrepreneur, Ankur Jain, the founder of Bira91 parent B9 Beverages said that the Home Ministry’s decision is “a message of strength” and the company has plans to resume as soon as things get better.
“The lockdown is expected to be lifted over the next few weeks. We’ve mapped our business restart plan specific to every brewery and district, including social distancing norms and compliance of guidelines issued by the government for COVID-19,”Entrepreneur.com
In the last year, B9 Beverages commissioned two new breweries, one each in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, that helped it quadruple its production capacity. And with the launch of its new product Boom in several markets, the company doubled its national market share – a little lesser than the 3 percent overall market share in India.
Bira 91 also expanded its presence to more than 400 cities in the last fiscal year, up from 50 from a year earlier. On similar lines, Ankur in a statement said that 2020 is a benchmark for the company where it is expecting to reach a double-digit market share in a number of states.
“Our market shares in several markets are now higher than 5 per cent of overall beer, and more than 20 per cent share of premium beer,”