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Non-alcoholic beverage maker Svami gulps down pre-Series A funding
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Non-alcoholic beverage maker Svami Drinks has raised Rs 7.5 crore ($1 million at current exchange rate) in its pre-Series A round of funding from a mix of institutional and individual investors.

The funding round was led by Rukam Capital Trust, a Delhi-based early-stage venture capital firm. 

Niren Shah, managing director of Norwest Venture Partners India, and Ashish Chand’s family office Yukti Securities also contributed to the round.

The startup will use the capital for deeper penetration into existing markets and enter new territories. A part of the money raised will be also used for new product development, increasing production capacity and hiring professionals.

Svami, owned and operated by Foxtrot Beverages Pvt. Ltd, had previously raised an angel round led by Singapore-based VC fund RB Investments in August 2018.

"We started Svami to create premium aerated beverages that did not exist in the country. Since launch, we have seen massive product acceptance across retail and HoReCa (hotel/restaurant/café) and are now capitalising on our first-mover advantage," said Sahil Jatana, co-founder of the startup.

The brand was launched in January last year by Jatana, Rahul Mehra and Aneesh Bhasin. Jatana, an alumnus of Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, had earlier worked with Star TV Network and Netcore Solutions. Mehra has also been behind the launch of alco-beverage firms Thief Eye Distillery and Gateway Brewing Co., and Bhasin has co-founded wine marketing company Appvintage Solutions.

Besides the aerated category, Svami also manufactures tonic waters in India. Currently the brand has five products in the market -- original tonic water, light tonic water, cucumber tonic water, grapefruit tonic water, and the recently launched ginger ale. 

"The founders' zeal and the product impressed us the most. With the increased demand, bar menus now feature global and home-grown liquor brands that need premium mixers to go with them," said Archana Jahagirdar, managing partner at Rukum Capital Trust.

The company claims that over half a million drinks have been consumed since the launch of the brand. 

Svami’s beverage portfolio is available at select retail outlets, wine shops, and restaurants-bars across eight states in India. It also recently forayed into Hong Kong.

Other deals

Recently, Coolberg Beverages Pvt. Ltd, which makes non-alcoholic beer, raised $3.5 million in a Series A round led by RB Investments and existing investor India Quotient.

The broader segment has recorded several deals of late. In May, B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd, which makes craft beer under the brand Bira 91, raised funding from consumer-focused venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures. It also counts Sequoia Capital and Sofina among its investors.

In the same month, British Brewing Company received an initial commitment of Rs 100 crore from investors including NeoMile Capital in its first external equity fundraise.

In January, United Spirits Ltd sold its Bengaluru-based wine subsidiary Four Seasons Wines Ltd for Rs 31.86 crore to Grover Zampa Vineyards Ltd and its investor Quintela Assets Ltd.

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