Ronin Wines, which sells mead under the brand name Moonshine Meadery, on Thursday announced that it has raised $2 million in its pre-series A funding round led by Anthill Capitaland.
The round also saw the participation of Auxano Capital, Supermorpheus and Merisis. Existing and new angel investors also participated in the mop-up. Value Bridge Capital was the sole adviser for the transaction.
Ronin Wines plans to use the funds to boost its growth trajectory in the country by deepening Moonshine’s presence in its existing markets such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam and Silvassa. The company also plans to tap into new markets such as Haryana and West Bengal.
“Alco-beverage is a large and growing sector with white spaces. Mead as a beverage is new to the India markets,” said Karan Gupta, associate Auxano Capital.
Ronin Wines said that it is aiming to establish Moonshine as a national brand over the next three years. The investment will also aid the company in commencing work on export markets.
In 2021, the startup launched strong meads brand Portside. The firm is now looking at venturing into the high ABV (alcohol by volume) still-meads segment later this year.
“With Moonshine, we are trying to plug the flavour gap for consumers as they transition from juices and colas to beers and spirits. A consumer’s journey into alcohol doesn’t have to start with an ‘acquired taste’. This fits well with the expectations of the younger India who are looking for more flavourful beverages,” said Rohan Rehani, co-founder, Ronin Wines.
“We have been steadily garnering interest from importers in various geographies. And now, this fundraise will enable us to unlock opportunities not only at the national but also at the international level,” Rehani added.
Founded by Rehani and Nitin Vishwas, Ronin Wines launched Moonshine in 2016 to bring back the ancient alcoholic beverage. The beverage is made by fermenting pure honey and then blending it with various fruits and spices. The company makes meads which are predominantly low alcohol and carbonated, it said in a statement.
The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations estimates that India's market for alcoholic beverages is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 6.8% between 2020 and 2023, making it one of the fastest-growing markets.