Bira eyeing $30 million funding from private equity firms
TPG Growth, Blackstone, Veronis Suhler Stevenson are among funds interested in investing in B9 Beverages, the maker of Bira beer
New Delhi/Mumbai: B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd, the maker of popular beer Bira91, is close to raising $30 million (Rs200 crore) from private equity funds, two people familiar with the development said.
TPG Growth, Blackstone Group Lp and New York-based private investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) are among funds interested in the Delhi-based beer maker, the people cited above said on condition of anonymity. The talks are in the final stages, they said.
Ankur Jain, founder of B9 Beverages, declined to comment on the fundraising. TPG, Blackstone and VSS did not respond to Mint queries till press time.
B9 Beverages has already raised more than $30 million from several investors.
Venture capital fund Sequoia Capital India Advisors is the largest investor in B9 Beverages. Sequoia currently owns more than 55% in B9 Beverages, through its two funds SCI Investments IV and SCI Investments V.
On 9 November, B9 Beverages raised Rs25 crore from Chennai-based asset management company Anicut Capital by issuing redeemable non-convertible debentures, according to a company filing with Registrar of Companies (RoC).
In August, B9 Beverages raised Rs51.54 crore from Sequoia which was the third tranche from the venture capital fund, according to RoC documents.
B9 Beverages founder Jain owns about 15% of the company’s equity. His family members own a little more 10%.
Others who have invested in B9 Beverages include General Atlantic managing director Shantanu Rastogi and its senior vice-president Alok Misra, and Naik Family Trust 2013.
During its initial rounds of fund raising, the company had also received investments from Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, co-founders of e-commerce firm Snapdeal; Ashish Dhawan, co-founder of private equity firm Chryscapital; Mayank Singhal, venture investor with RNT Capital Advisors; and Deepinder Goyal, founder of restaurant discovery platform Zomato.
When Jain started Bira 91, he raised about $1.5 million from a bunch of friends.
In an interview to Mint on 13 October, Jain said that the company may need to raise $150 million through debt and equity over next 3-4 years to fund global expansion.
Jain, who launched Bira in New York city in April 2016, said he planned to take Bira91 beer to the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates by next summer through distribution partnerships.
Abhay Pandey, managing director of venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India Advisors, in an interview to Mint on 13 October, had said that the venture fund will continue to “support” Bira and may stay invested beyond 2022.
Jain had earlier said B9 Beverages will go for an initial public offering once the company reaches Rs 1,000 crore in revenue with India, accounting for around 90% of sales. According to Jain, the company will close the current fiscal year at Rs150 crore revenue.
Overall beer sales in India almost doubled between 2010 and 2015 to $6.2 billion a year, according to a study by market research firm Euromonitor International. But, craft beers, like Bira91, as a category is relatively new in India and the industry is growing at around 20%, according to All India Brewing Association.
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