boAt eyes make-in-India push with $100 million from Warburg Pincus

2021-01-06 02:04:58

BENGALURU: Consumer brand boAt, which sells earphones, speakers and wearables, has received an investment of $100 million from private equity major Warburg Pincus.
The company has been valued at around $300 million post this investment, a person aware of the matter said.
boAt, which competes with Chinese and other foriegn brands in the category, will use the new capital to build on its current growth momentum, and to move the majority of its manufacturing from China to India.
boAt founders Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta told TOI that the company is looking to tap into the proposed profit-linked-incentive (PLI) scheme of the government for smart wearable makers to produce Made-in-India products.
“The PLI scheme will create a level playing field for Indian manufacturers and players over a period of time with the Chinese. We have taken some baby steps. Over the next two-three quarters you will see some products coming out of India, but the idea is to get to about 50-60% of our manufacturing done in India through a combination of outsourcing and in-house manufacturing,” said Mehta.
Gupta added that even though there may not be an immediate pricing advantage, the government’s support for local manufacturing will eventually make it economical.
The virus outbreak and the border tensions between India and China impacted boAt’s imports. If the manufacturing plan fructifies, it would be the second such consumer brand after eyewear seller Lenskart to do so.
TOI reported about Lenskart’s plans in August. boAt clocked revenue of around Rs 700 crore in the year ended March 2020 and is expected to do around Rs 1,000 crore this fiscal.
Started as an online-foused brand on Amazon India, boAt will also build its own platform for a wider direct-to-consumer (D2C) play and expand in the offline channel. It generates about 20% sales from the offline channel. “We are growing on all fronts. D2C is an important channel for us and we will be seriously looking at it,” Gupta added.
Fireside Ventures, a venture capital fund that invested around $3 million in boAt in its early days, has sold part of its stake to Warburg in this round. Kanwaljit Singh, founder and managing partner at Fireside, confirmed the sale.
“From the beginning, boAt had occupied this specific slot which was good value with a high quality product. It’s not a cheap product but sharply priced. They were also clear about building a brand and not just selling products at a price,” Singh said.

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