Bira 91, an Indian craft beer company, has secured $70 million in a Series D funding round led by Japanese beer company Kirin Holdings. The deal had been in the works for about two months. Due to the increased demand for alcoholic beverages, the company intends to increase production.
Craft beer sales in India are increasing as younger consumers in big cities prefer brands or pubs that offer lighter brews and fresher ingredients.
Bira 91 has yet to reveal the stakes held by Kirin following the funding. However, the funds will be used to expand existing facilities, build new breweries, and expand the company’s footprint, which now includes 550 towns in 18 countries.
Last year, the Japanese beer company Kirin invested $30 million in Bira for a less than 10 percent stake. The funds would expand the company’s distribution footprint in India and abroad and strengthen product development and innovation capabilities.
Japan’s beer market is declining
The investment comes when Japan is experiencing a gradual drop in alcohol sales revenue due to younger Japanese consumers drinking less, which has prompted the corporations to relocate abroad. Despite the Japanese currency hitting multi-level lows and making international investment more expensive, Kirin is boosting its investment in Bira.
In the current fiscal year’s first quarter ending in June, Bira 91 recorded an operating loss of $4 million despite a 132 percent increase in net sales revenue to $20 million.
The estimated $5 billion beer market in India is where the Indian craft beer company fights against names like Carlsberg and Heineken-owned United Breweries.
The B9-Kirin Center for Sustainable Growth was established by Bira 91 and is based out of its New Delhi headquarters. Technical and business strategists from Kirin are assisting Bira 91 with its Net Zero goal. Bira 91 recently declared its intention to become the first beer company in the nation to be carbon-neutral.