National, January 6, 2021
Home-grown Indian brand boAt (Imagine Marketing Private Limited) has raised approximately $100 million from an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity fund focused on growth investing. This investment is a landmark deal for the direct-to-consumer (D2C) industry in India as it endorses the sector’s coming of age with consumers trusting and gravitating towards brands launched online.
boAt is the #1 brand in personal audio in India (headphones, earphones, sound-related accessories) with a rapidly emerging presence in adjacent consumer-focused, lifestyle electronics categories. Its product portfolio offers well-designed, distinctive products at attractive price points. boAt continues to achieve rapid revenue growth (100%+ over the past several years) and exhibits a strong profitability profile.
As a digitally native brand in India, boAt has consistently been breaking barriers in a sector traditionally dominated by established global brands, placing Indian brands on the global map. In addition to solidifying its position in the Indian market as the #1 player, boAt has also emerged as the 5th largest wearable brand globally, according to IDC data.
The investment by Warburg Pincus will enable the company to further fortify its leading market position, widen its R&D capabilities and product portfolio, and build on boAt’s efforts to create and support a manufacturing ecosystem under the Make-in-India initiative, enabling the manufacture of products in India.
Commenting on the transaction, Aman Gupta, Co-Founder, boAt said: “We welcome Warburg Pincus as a new investor into the company. This is a vote of confidence for our business model and growth prospects. 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.”
Sameer Mehta, Co-Founder, boAt commented: “As boAt enters the next phase of growth and innovation, we look forward to benefitting from Warburg’s pedigree, collective experience and resources in helping us scale. 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.”
Vishal Mahadevia, Managing Director and Head, Warburg Pincus India, said: “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. Warburg Pincus is excited to partner with the management team of boAt led by Aman & Sameer in this journey and we look forward to supporting them through the next phase of the company’s growth.”
Avendus Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to boAt and its shareholders on the transaction.