Bira91 raises Rs. 335 crore from Belgian fund Sofina

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As investors take a wager on the country’s burgeoning domestic craft beer market, Bira91 has raised Rs. 335 crore led by a Belgian family-owned fund Sofina.

People aware of the deal has said that the latest fund-raise values the beer start up at around Rs. 1400 crore. Besides Sofina, the company also saw existing investor Sequoia Capital participate in the financing round. Bira91 brand which is owned by B9 beverages also saw existing investor Sequoia Capital participate in the financing round.

The Indian beer brand is looking to expand distribution, enhance production and enter lucrative markets like the US, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. The beer maker started production in upstate New York recently to service the region.

“We are entering phase two of our business. The new capital allows us to think long-term and establish a leadership position in premium beer in India. We also expect to create a meaningful international business in Asia and the US,” said B9 Beverages founder & CEO Ankur Jain, while confirming the new capital-raise, reports Times of India.

Bira started producing locally only in 2016 when it opened a facility in Indore and is now looking to expand its current capacity from 300,000 barrels to 2.7 million over the next two years. Earlier, it used to contract its manufacturing across multiple breweries, including one in Belgium. Premium beer brands like Kingfisher Ultra and Budweiser sell around 16 million cases in an overall 315-million-case domestic local beer market.

 Sofina head (Asia) Maxence Tombeur said, “With our Belgian roots and experience in investing in consumer businesses, we believe there is a great chemistry between our organisations and Bira.” The fund said it will help the company scale in India and abroad.


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