Bira 91, Delhi-based handcrafted beers company, has received funding of $6 million from Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm from Silicon Valley. The investment in Bira 19 is one of the first investments made by Sequoia Capital in the alcoholic beverage sector.
The round also saw participation from Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal from Snapdeal, Deepinder Goyal from Zomato, Ashish Dhawan of ChrysCapital, andMayank Singhal from Temasek.
Abhay Pandey, MD, Sequoia Capital, while talking about the investment, said that Bira 91 came across as a great product with a dynamic team managing an innovative supply chain to capture the large on-premise beer-drinking opportunity.
“We are excited about backing the challenger in a large category with nice customer cohorts on basket size, retention and frequency,” Sequoia’s Pandey said.
The funding will be used for the expansion and the establishment of a new production facility in Madhya Pradesh. Currently selling over 20,000 cases per month, Jain hopes to reach sales of one million cases per year.
Founded by Ankur Jain, Bira 91 currently selling two varieties of beers, Bira White and Bira Blonde. The beer is currently available in restaurants in and around Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Goa, Pune and Chandigarh with further expansion in the coming months.
“Despite having never developed a taste for beer, I was fascinated by the unique flavors of Bira91. As I got to know the brand better, I discovered them to be a perfect blend of a great product backed by solid branding and a very smart go-to-market strategy. That is perhaps what led to Sequoia’s belief in Bira91.” said Mayank Singhal, an early stage investor in Bira91 who has also backed companies such as OS Labs, formerly FirsTouch, and Hugefly.
With Bira 91, Jain hopes to be a major player in the premium beer market in India estimated at $5 billion. Speaking to Times of India, Jain said,
“This is the space Bira is playing in and, if you look, premium beer accounts for 60% of the profit pool of the India beer industry.” Although the market for craft beers and microbreweries are in the nascent stage in India, the increasing number of working professionals in the Metros with disposable income and the willingness to try something new has lead to an increase in this niche market.
Bira 91 is currently available in over 150 retails outlets in New Delhi and 70 in Bengaluru. Bira 91 is exclusively on tap at the following pubs in Bengaluru:
1. The Beer Cafe
2. Three Dots & A Dash
3. Doff Pub
4. Jimi’s Beer Cafe
5. Take 5
6. Tippler On The Roof
7. Blistering Barnacles
8. Mother Cluckers
9. 100 Ft. Boutique Bar
10. I & Monkey
11. BFlat Bar
12. Ginger Tiger
14. Monkey Bar
15. Bare Bones
16. Mainland China