New Delhi-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand boAt Lifestyle, which sells audio devices and accessories, has raised USD 100 million from New York-headquartered private equity Warburg Pincus, the company said on Tuesday.
The startup plans to use the funding to expand its product portfolio, strengthen its research and development (R&D) capabilities, and solidify its market position.
Founded by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta in 2016, boAt is one of the very few homegrown hardware startups that have made it big in India. boAt’s products include headphones, earphones, wireless speakers, home theatre soundbars, travel chargers, and premium cables, among others. In the second half of 2020, it ventured into the wearable segment with the launch of its smart band and smartwatch.
“The investment is great news for not only the company but for the entire D2C sector. The investment has come at the right time as we make efforts to ramp up our manufacturing and global supply chain,” said Gupta, co-founder, boAt in a statement.
The startup’s valuation has been pegged between USD 219 million and USD 246 million, a report by local media Economic Times said, citing sources. Before the latest round, the company had raised USD 9.1 million in venture debt from BAC Acquisitions and InnoVen Capital, and equity from Fireside Ventures.
“We see a compelling growth story in boAt and believe the company is well-poised to build upon the strong leadership position it has carved out within the industry and stands to benefit from the secular tailwinds of e-commerce growth in India,” said Vishal Mahadevia, managing director and Head, Warburg Pincus India, which manages private equity assets worth USD 56 billion across 190 portfolio companies.
According to Mehta, co-founder, boAt, the company is entering the next phase of growth and innovation, and will utilize Warburg Pincus’ experiences and resources to scale up.
“Going forward, with the government’s support, we will focus on building capabilities in domestic R&D and undertake vertical integration across both the hearable and wearable space to establish India as a global supplier,” he said in a statement.
According to marketing research firm IDC, in the quarter ended September 2020, boAt became the fifth-biggest wearable brand in the world, grabbing a 2.6% market share. In India, boAt leads the earwear category with over 30% share, followed by Samsung, Harman Kardon, and JBL, IDC said.