Punjab-based beverage startup Lahori has raised $15 Mn in funding from Belgium-based Verlinvest in exchange for the latter receiving an undisclosed minor stake.
Lahori is a beverage startup that sells ‘desi’ (local or indigenous) packaged aerated drinks including nimboo (lemon )soda, kacha aam (raw mango) soda, and shikanji (Indian lemonade), mostly in Punjab.
It plans to use the freshly raised capital to expand production capacity and its presence across the country, while also investing in branding and marketing.
Verlinvest is a family-owned investment group that is part of AB InBev, a global consumer-focused VC firm that has over 400 beer brands under its management. It has also invested in other Indian startups including Veeba, Epigamia, Byju’s Purplle and Wakefit.
“We are delighted to partner with Verlinvest in our journey to become a widely loved beverage brand in the country. We want to give Indian consumers beverage options that resonate with their taste palette. We know that the ethnic beverages market in India is underserved, and we have the vision to become a prominent force in this space,” said Saurabh Munjal, cofounder and CEO of Lahori.
The Indian non-alcoholic beverage market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.2% to reach $20.4 Bn by 2030 according to Goldstein Market Research. According to PwC, India represents an important market for players in the beverage industry and the current low per capita consumption signals the significant potential for volume growth in the future.
“Given the legacy of our Belgian family shareholders, beverages are a core focus area for us. Lahori has become a dominant player in the space in a very short time, creating a product loved by the masses. Among all the beverage companies we have seen so far in India, Lahori stood out for its taste, product innovation and customer pull. We are excited to work with them on their next leg of growth,” said Shagun Tiwary Shah, an investor at Verlinvest.
Last year, beverages brand Storia Foods and Beverages had raised $6 Mn in Series A funding from Sixth Sense Ventures. In the same year, Epigamia’s parent company had raised $25.58 Mn in series C funding to expand its distribution network and product range. Another brand Raw Pressery, once valued at INR 500 Cr, was sold for INR 100 Cr.