Indian electronics and lifestyle brand Boat raises $100 million from Warburg Pincus – TechCrunch

Boat, an electronics and lifestyle startup in India, has raised $ 100 million in a new financing round, which many independent investors have called the most successful hardware startup story in the world’s second-largest Internet market.

An associate of Warburg Pincus, The New York-headquartered private equity firm financed the entire Series B round for the four-year-old Indian startup, which sells low-cost, durable headphones, earphones and other mobile accessories.

Gives round The boat, Which raised about $ 3 million in equity and debt financing before the new round, a post-money valuation of about $ 300 million, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. Boat executives declined to comment on the valuation, except to say that Warburg Pincus bought a “significant minority stake” in the startup.

An investor who did not want to be named has become a case of a discrepancy between hardware startups in India. There are not many hardware startups in India. Among those who exist, very few people have been able to raise this much money. And on top of that, the boat is also profitable – and it has been for many years, said Samir Mehta, the startup’s co-founder, in an interview with TechCrunch.

Boat’s secret sauce, at least in part, is that she has managed to keep the price points of her belongings low, while also making them aesthetically appealing. The startup counts the younger generation as its target audience, who want good-looking goods at a lower price, but also upgrade every few months.

In recent years the boat has expanded into several categories, all with the same strategy. Its fitness wearable starts at INR 1,799 ($ ​​24.5), a smartwatch for $ 34, charging cable at $ 3.4, home theater soundbar for $ 54, wireless speaker for $ 13.5, headphones for $ 5.5, and $ 27 Earbuds such as the AirPod.

According to marketing research firm IDC, Boat commands over 30% of the wearable market in India and is the fifth largest brand globally.

The startup sells through both online and offline retail channels. Its equipment is available through Flipkart, Amazon India, Reliance Retail as well as Tata Stores, Croma and Vijay Sales. Analysts at HDFC Bank estimated in a note last month that Boat Lifestyle’s products are available through more than 5,000 retail stores across India and it plans to enter global markets.

“We see a fascinating growth story in boAt and believe that the company is well placed to build on a strong leadership position within the industry and stands to benefit from the secular tailwinds of e-commerce development in India. Warburg is excited to partner with boAt’s management team led by Pincus Aman [the other co-founder] In this journey Sameer and we look forward to supporting him through the next phase of the company’s growth, ”said Vishal Mahadevia, managing director and head of Warburg Pincus India in a statement.

Mehta said the startup will deploy fresh capital to move its manufacturing from China to India more and expand into more categories including gaming keyboards.

More to follow…