With $50 Mn Funding , India's New Favourite Beer Bira91 is in High Spirits The funding will accelerate Bira 91's ability to continue growth in India while investing in business operations in wider Asia Pacific and Northeast US markets

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Every startup dreams of global expansion but there are various factors that stop them from expanding their footprint from the home market, the biggest being money. Entrepreneurs need at least some things in place to convince the investors that they know what they're doing.
Bira Founder and CEO Ankur Jain faced a similar challenge when he was making investors believe in his business plan of international expansion. One of the fastest growing craft beer brands out of India, Bira 91 has just received its third round of funding of USD 50 Mn led by Belgian investment firm, Sofina. The latest investment brings the company to over $100M in funding to date.

Commenting on fundraise, Jain shared, "With the business growing at a fast pace, Bira91 required a high level of investment to support the growth. Thankfully, with time, we have been able to get best investors onboard and with their support and encouragement, we're getting international as we expand to more markets in the United States and Southeast Asia.

Establish Leadership Market Position:
Set up in 2015, the company plans to use the latest funds to expand the India business five-fold over the next three years and establish a leadership position in the Indian premium beer market. The funding will also further help Bira 91 to accelerate global footprint with expansion in the US market, as well as the Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
With the global craft beer market projected to reach over USD 502 Bn by 2025, and the market expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period due to the rising demand for craft beers, Bira 91's growth comes at a right time to corner a rising market and reach emerging consumers.

What Worked in Bira91's Favor:
With the new investment, Bira 91 aspires to drive the global shift in beer towards more flavor and color.
"We truly believe that Bira 91 is on the ground floor of a massive global opportunity. We are excited to bring on board a fund like Sofina, who we've known for over 3 years now. Owing to the Belgian heritage and the overlap in business there was an instant connect, which worked in getting Sofina to invest in the brand," he said.
Sofina is now looking forward to partnering with Bira 91 on a journey to scale their footprint in India and beyond.

Maxence Tombeur, Head of Asia at Sofina shared "With our Belgian roots, we believe there is a great chemistry between our organizations and are proud to back Bira 91 as they are building a leading brand in the underserved premium beer segment. We have been impressed by Ankur and the passion driving Bira 91's management team. This investment is part of our strategy of being a longterm supporter of talented entrepreneurs and like-minded investors in growth markets. "

Third Time Lucky:
Two years ago, Sequoia Capital India marked its first-ever investment in a local alcoholic beverage brand by adding Bira 91 to its portfolio of tech investments, signifying a new era in the craft beer market. This new round of investment also saw a follow-on participation from Sequoia Capital India.
For Jain, the consistent and rock-solid support by Sequoia India and Abhay Pandey, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital over the last two years has been exemplary.
"We drew a lot of confidence from their belief in our team, a third time too!" he added.

Wavy Line
Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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