[Funding Alert] boAt raises $60 Mn to strengthen hold on Smartwatch Segment; IPO Withdrawn

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 Imagine Marketing (parent company of boAt), announces its plans to fuel the expansion of its business given strong operating momentum across its categories. The company is raising INR 500 crore($60 Mn) from its existing shareholder, an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity fund and new investor Malabar Investments. 

The investment will enable the company to accelerate its plans to attain leadership in the smartwatches category, scale up its business across channels and geographies (both within and outside India), further strengthen its category leadership within audio, enhance its R&D and design capabilities, and support building a local manufacturing ecosystem under the Make-in-India initiative. 

Less than a couple of years ago, boAt entered the smartwatches category. boAt has made significant progress in expanding into this fast-growing space, established itself as one of the leading brands in the category, and taken large strides towards building a health and wellness wearables ecosystem. 

Partnerships with leading global companies like Qualcomm (also a shareholder in boAt), Dolby, Dirac, and others have helped in bringing the best technology to consumers. boAt is considered as the top audio brand in the country and number two. earwear brand globally. The boAt brand is loved by millions of Indians, including GenZ and millennials, with the highest brand awareness in the category said in a statement by the company.

Aman Gupta, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer of boAt, said “We have established clear leadership in our core personal audio category and are the number two player globally in earwear. It is a matter of great pride that a brand that was born in India is now ranked amongst the top brands in the world. We now want to make smartwatches our second core and will replicate the boAt digital playbook to become global leaders in this category as well. The new funding will allow us to invest significantly to disrupt the smart watches spaces with more innovative products. And we are thrilled that investors continue to have strong conviction and confidence in the boAt story”. 

Sameer Mehta, Co-founder of boAt, said, “We are very excited about the potential of smartwatches. The market today is in the early stages of evolution and most players don’t have control over the end-to-end stack to offer compelling features to consumers. There is a significant opportunity to build the category and launch more distinctive and technologically advanced products. Through boAt labs (our 120-person in-house R&D team) and our acquisition of KaHa Technologies, (a world-class wearables technology and IoT platform, with 64 patents and patent applications), we are developing the next generation of products. These products will provide richer features and deeper insights to consumers on their health and wellness to enable them to lead more active and fulfilling lifestyles”.

Along with driving growth in the core audio category and adding smartwatches as a second core, the company is making significant progress in diversifying its manufacturing footprint via partnerships with various leading EMS players in India, including Dixon, with whom it has also created a manufacturing JV. A significant proportion of boAt’s products are now being produced in India (~1 million units every month currently). The company is also putting plans in place to take the boAt brand overseas. 

The strong operating momentum these investments have created has resulted in boAt having built significant scale (it closed FY2022 with net revenue of approximately INR 3,000 crore), industry-leading revenue growth (~100 per cent ) year on year while building a profitable business and investing for the future.

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