Bira raises $10 million in debt funding to increase output

Popular craft beer band Bira 91, backed by B9 Beverages, reportedly, have closed a $10 million (about 70 crore) debt financing round, cited ET. Based out of Delhi, the beer manufacturing and selling startup is expected to use the infused funds in order to increase its production capacity to about 1.7 million cases.

Alternative financing firm Anicut Capital has given credit financing to the company, which also entered the mass beermarket through the launch of its Boom brand in April.

Last month, B9 Beverages bagged around $4.3 million in bridge financing from consumer-focuesed venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures. While Anicut Capital is an existing investor in Bira.

“The company is aiming to be profitable by 2021,” Ankur Jain, founder of B9 Beverages stated.

Chennai-based Anicut Capital was founded by Ashvin Chadha and IAS Balamurugan who have spent credible years of their career in Commercial, Private & Investment Banking at senior levels.

The company has a track record of successfully lending Rs 450 crore to Indian SME companies with zero defaults.

Whereas, the startup B9 Beverages, was launched in 2015 by Ankur Jain after he started importing exotic beers from outside India to sell in 2008.

The startup is in the process of raising $50-$75 million in fresh financing, and has mandated global investment bank Credit Suisse to scout for investors, sources also told ET.

Bira, which counts Sequoia Capital, Sofina and TR Capital among its major institutional backers, was valued at about $246 million after the closure of its Sixth Sense Ventures-led bridge financing round.

Interestingly, the fundraising also comes at a time when Bira has locked in a five-year global partnership with International Cricket Council, the global governing body of the sport. With the ongoing cricket World Cup, sales of alco-beverages in the country are expected to surge.

The beer segment expanded 6% to 2771.5 million litres in 2018, according to GlobalData forecast.

However, India still favours strong beerbrands that have an 80% share, and global companies have been producing stronger variants of their flagship beer brands.

Bira 91 other investors include Snapdeal’s Rohit Bansal, Zomato co-founder Deepinder Goyal, TR Capital, Anicut Capital, Sofina, and Smile Group.

It also competes with other beer startups in the verticals including White Owl, Simba, Brewbot, White Rhino, Kati Patang, etc.

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