(Updated) Sequoia-backed craft beer maker Bira91 raising $20m bridge round

Photo: Reuters

B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd, the maker of craft beer Bira91, is raising $20 million in bridge financing ahead of a larger funding round planned for this year, it confirmed.

“Bira 91 confirms the fundraising round is a $20m bridge with valuation that is at an undisclosed discount to the next round. The company is raising this bridge round with existing and new investors in anticipation of a larger fund raise later this fiscal year,” it said.

Earlier, the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) sourced by paper.vc showed that it was raising $4.3 million (Rs 30 crore) from Sixth Sense Ventures as part of a pre-Series C funding round.

According to the filings, the company is allotting 5 lakh Series C compulsorily convertible cumulative preference shares (CCCPS) to Sixth Sense in exchange for the aforesaid investment.

The company has to date raised close to $74 million in equity financing. A significant source of the beer company’s capital is a diverse set of angel investors ranging from celebrities such as Farhan and Zoya Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani on the one hand to Kalyan Krishnamurthy and a group of General Atlantic executives on the other.

“Unlike many other startups, B9 Beverages has continued to raise from high network individuals even while raising money from institutional investors. Its most notable earlier institutional investments were by Sequoia Capital (2018/$14m) and Belgium-based Advent Management (2018/$18.8m),” paper.vc founder Vivek Durai said.

Set up in 2015, B9 initially manufactured Bira 91 in Belgium, which was an expensive proposition. The company began production in India in late 2016. As of June 2018, Bira 91 is available in India, USA, UK, and Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and UAE.

The company had reportedly raised $50 million in a round led by Belgian family-owned fund Sofina, joined by Sequoia Capital India Advisors in May last year. The round had valued the startup at around $210 million.

Besides founder Ankur Jain, other investors in the company include Chennai-based asset management firm Anicut Capital; General Atlantic managing director Shantanu Rastogi and senior vice-president Alok Misra; Naik Family Trust 2013; Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal; ChrysCapital co-founder Ashish Dhawan; RNT Capital Advisors venture investor Mayank Singhal; and Deepinder Goyal, founder of restaurant discovery platform Zomato.