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Exclusive: BoAt Raises INR 50 Cr From Qualcomm Ventures

Exclusive: BoAt Raises INR 50 Cr From Qualcomm Ventures

The funds have been raised at a valuation of close to INR 2,000 Cr

In January this year, boAt raised $100 Mn from Warburg Pincus

Qualcomm Ventures invested INR 730 Cr in Reliance Jio last year

Homegrown consumer electronics company boAt has raised close to INR 50 Cr (around $6.7 Mn) in equity funding from Qualcomm Ventures, the venture capital arm of the US-based semiconductor giant Qualcomm.

This is Qualcomm Ventures’ first major investment in India after it backed Reliance Jio during the company’s fundraising spree in 2020. Qualcomm had invested $100 Mn in Reliance Jio in July 2020.

As per the company’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings which were accessed by Inc42, Imagine Marketing, which operates boAt, raised over INR 50 Cr ($6.7 Mn), by allocating Series B1 compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) with a face value of INR 6,000 per share and a premium of INR 2,77,749. Qualcomm Ventures picked up 1,762 shares in exchange for INR 49.9 Cr. 

The funds have been raised at the same valuation as the previous funding round, as per sources close to the company. In January this year, boAt raised $100 Mn from Warburg Pincus at a valuation of around INR 2,000 Cr (close to $300 Mn). Prior to this, it raised funds in September 2020 in a debt funding round worth INR 25 Cr from InnoVen Capital.

Founded in 2016 by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta, Gurugram-based boAt has over the years expanded its product range and offers headphones, earphones, speakers, travel chargers and cables. 

As per reports last year, boAt earned INR 704 Cr in revenue in FY2020, ended March 31, 2020, with the profit rising almost 6x from INR 8 Cr in 2019 to over INR 48 Cr in 2020. The company has claimed in the past that it is aiming to achieve gross sales worth INR 500 Cr in 2021.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19, boAt claimed to have streamlined its supply chain locally thereby reducing its dependence on China, Vietnam and South Korea for components and parts. The company is the fifth-largest wearable brand globally, according to market research and advisory firm International Data Corporations (IDC). The report also ranked boAt in the first position in the earwear segment for 2019, with a market share of 27.3%. 

“Before Covid, we never thought that we wanted to ‘make in India’ as we never thought it would be very critical. It took a pandemic to make us realise the importance of owning the supply chain in the country,” cofounder Gupta said at Inc42’s D2C Day 2.0 session.

Even before its investment in Jio, Qualcomm Ventures has been an active investor in the Indian startup ecosystem, having invested in Portea Medical, MoveInSync, Ninjacart, and MindTickle through its fund launched in 2015

Correction Note:

April 15, 2021 | 19:30

A previous version of this story had mentioned incorrect valuation of boAt for this round. The same has been amended to reflect the right valuation based on conversations with sources within the company.

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