Beer maker B9 Beverages close to raising funds from TR Capital

Craft beer maker B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd, which markets the brand Bira 91, is close to raising $10 million (Rs 67 crore) from Hong Kong-based TR Capital to fund its expansion plans.

The Mint, which reported the development citing two people it didn't name, said the private equity firm is likely to pick up a significant minority stake through this transaction. The beer maker has hired consulting firm KPMG to scout for potential investors, the report said.

The company is likely to use the capital for marketing and setting up a new plant in Madhya Pradesh, the report said, adding that it has already signed up brewers in Mysore and Indore to boost production.

Email queries to B9 and TR Capital didn’t elicit any immediate response.

Earlier this year, B9 had raised Rs 40 crore ($6 million) in a Series A round of funding from a group of investors led by global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

Several angel investors such as Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal, ChrysCapital co-founder Ashish Dhawan and Mayank Singhal of Singapore state investment arm Temasek also participated in that round.

The beer brand, launched in February last year, is available in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Chandigarh. It has been looking to expand its geographical footprint. 

The company has import and marketing rights from seven breweries and has also tied up with a contract manufacturer in Belgium. It claims to sell over 50,000 cases of the brand a month. Its founder and CEO Ankur Jain had earlier told VCCircle that the company had a market share of nearly 30% in the premium segment.

The company had mobilised seed funding from a group of investors in 2014. It raised additional money from angel investor Apurva Salarpuria soon thereafter.

Several other craft beer makers have raised funding in the recent past seeking to tap into growing demand in a country where per capita consumption of beer is below two litres, less than a third of the global average. 

In April, Kaama Impex Pvt Ltd, the Delhi-based firm which sells craft beer brand Witlinger, secured funding from two angel investors.

Late last year, RAAY Global, a family office of Amit Patni, had invested in in The White Owl Brewery, a Mumbai-based craft beer maker.

Some other larger alcoholic-beverage ventures in India that have raised private funding in the past include John Distilleries and Sula Vineyards.

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