B9 Beverages, India’s first Craft Beer company has raised a Series A funding of USD 6 million from Sequioa Capital, and other marquee investors namely, Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl (Snapdeal) along with Ashish Dhawan (Chrys Capital) and Deepinder Goyal (Zomato), for its handcrafted beer brand Bira91.
The specially brewed beer has been able to achieve a penetration of 70% in all its markets within a year of its launch. Growing at an exponential rate, it has achieved an incredible market share of 30% share in the premium segment without any extensive marketing strategies.
On course towards creating a culture of craft beer amongst beer lovers, it has reached a penetration level of about 33% of the outlet universe serving draught beer. This growth trajectory has catapulted them to a market leadership position as a front runner, leaving its competitors lagging far behind with a gap of almost 3x that has to be bridged.
This is the first meaningful bet in alcoholic beverage industry for Sequioa as this lucrative opportunity marks its debut on a global level. “Bira91 is a cool ‘Indian’ brand and a great product with a dynamic team managing an innovative supply chain to capture the large ‘on premise’ opportunity. We are excited about backing the challenger in a large category with nice customer cohorts on basket size, retention and frequency,” said Mr. Abhay Pandey, MD, Sequoia Capital.
After establishing a stronghold in seven cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Goa, Pune, Chandigarh), the key focus remains in maintaining a personal connect with the consumer as well as spreading the love and culture for perfect tasting beer. “Perhaps the most important factor in our early success has been the strong word-of-mouth that Bira91 has received. Consumers love Bira91, recommend us to people they know, leading to a potentially exponential network effect bordering on a contagion. This kind of strong word-of-mouth has been elusive for almost everyone and this puts Bira91 in an extremely unique position full of limitless opportunity and serious responsibility in the coming years,” said Mr. Ankur Jain, CEO, B9 Beverages.
“In the year 2016, we will focus on laying the ground-work in terms of process, team and an effective execution strategy that will require an unstoppable hustle so that we are able to expand our geographical footprint in 2017 and capitalize on the large opportunities ahead of us,” he adds.