BENGALURU: B9 Beverages, which makes craft beer under the Bira brand, has got a funding of $30 million from Japanese beer maker Kirin Holding. People familiar with the matter said Kirin will acquire a stake of under 10% and have a board representation.
“We will deploy all our capital in India. This partnership gives us an opportunity to lean into Kirin’s international presence to expand our business globally,” Bira CEO Ankur Jain said. Bira expects to launch its products in Japan later this year.
The funding comes at a time when the domestic alcoholic beverages industry has been battered by Covid-19, with bars, restaurants and hotels shut for a long period. The problem was more acute for beer makers, whose peaksale period between April and July coincided with the national lockdown.
Bira has raised $130 million since it started five years ago. A major source of funding has been a diverse set of angel investors, including filmmakers Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, and Ritesh Sidhwani, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, and a group of executives in growth equity firm General Atlantic. Last year it raised $20 million from existing investors Sequoia Capital and Belgium’s Sofina.
The company is also said to be planning a non-alcoholic beverages segment with carbonated drinks, juices, energy and sports drinks, and sparkling water to offset the drop in revenue from beer sales.