New Delhi-headquartered craft beer maker Bira 91 has raised $30 Mn from Japanese integrated beverages company Kirin Holdings. This is Kirin’s first investment in India. With the investment, the Japanese company has also acquired a stake of under 10% in Bira 91’s parent company.
Founded in 2015 by Ankur Jain, B9 Beverages is the company behind craft beer brand Bira 91. It makes five beer varieties currently — Bira 91 White, a low bitterness wheat beer, Bira 91 Blonde, an extra hoppy craft lager, Bira 91 Light, a low-calorie lunchtime lager, Bira 91 Strong, a high intensity, high alcohol wheat beer, and Bira 91 “The IPA (India Pale Ale)”, the first IPA brewed and bottled in India. The brand has a presence across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, and Chandigarh. The company operates four breweries in India and has a footprint in nine countries.
Besides its latest investor, Bira 91 is backed by Sequoia Capital India and Sofina, a Belgium-based investment company. The company has said that the new funds would be used in business expansion and maintaining working capital.
According to an ET report, Kirin Holdings’ investment was a mixture of equity and debt. Sequoia is believed to be holding 45% equity in the company, while the company’s founder Ankur has 30%, with the remaining split among a clutch of investors.
According to an Inc42 exclusive report from November, Bira 91 had raised over INR 11.5 ($1.57 Mn) from a clutch of investors. Before that, the company had raised $20 Mn in a Series B round led by Sequoia and Sofina in April last year. At that time, Jain had claimed that Bira 91 has a market share of at least 5% in overall beer sales, and 20% in the premium beer category. Jain had further told Inc42 that the company was expecting to increase its market share to more than 10% in a number of Indian states by the end of 2020.
According to a Statista report, alcoholic beverage consumption in India was estimated to grow from 5.4 Bn litres in 2016 to 6.5 Bn litres by 2020.
Besides B9 Beverages, other major breweries in India are Carlsberg, SABMiller India, Som Distilleries and Breweries ltd and Anheuser-Busch Inbev. The largest brewery in India by market share is the Bengaluru-based United Breweries.