As it looks to ramp up production in the face of increased demand for the alcoholic beverage, Indian craft beer maker Bira 91 raises $70 million in a fundraising round led by Japanese beer company Kirin Holdings Co Ltd.
Ankur Jain launched the craft beer company Bira 91 in 2015.
In India’s projected $5 billion beer market, Bira faces out against companies like Carlsberg and United Breweries, which is controlled by Heineken.
Sales of craft beer are increasing in India as young, wealthy consumers select brands and bars that serve lighter brews and guarantee fresher ingredients.
Bira said it will use the money to create new breweries and expand existing facilities, expanding its footprint, which already includes 550 towns in 18 countries. Bira did not disclose its valuation or Kirin’s interest in the company after the investment round.
According to Reuters, Kirin was planning to inject more cash for an approximate 15% share at an equity valuation of $450 million, up from the initial $30 million it spent in Bira for a less than 10% holding last year.
While Kirin did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters seeking more information, a Bira spokeswoman declined to speak more.
According to an internal investor presentation reviewed by Reuters, Bira recorded an operating loss of $4 million for the quarter ending in June 2022, despite net sales revenue increasing by 132% to $20 million.
As the domestic population shrinks and younger people drink less than in previous decades, major beverage manufacturers in Japan are experiencing a steady decline in alcohol sales revenue. This has forced companies to expand internationally or enter new markets, which is why Kirin made the investment.
Craft beer brand Bira91, with headquarters in New Delhi, is a symbol of the global trend in beer consumption toward greater flavor and color. Bira 91 Blonde, Bira 91 White, Bira 91 Light, Bira 91 Strong, and Bira 91 The IPA is among the company’s offerings. Companies including Sequoia Capital India, Sofina, Anicut Capital, and Sixth Sense Ventures have supported the company.