Indian firms boAt and Udaan attract big international investments

boAT Udaan investments
Image by Fand Std.|

BENGALURU (Reuters) – US private equity firm Warburg Pincus has invested about $100 million in India’s boAt, the consumer electronics firm said on Wednesday.

boAt, known for its budget-friendly bluetooth speakers and wireless earbuds, was last valued at nearly $283 million after a $59.6 million funding round in December, according to PitchBook data.

Personal electronics products like headphones have seen a revival in sales since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with homebound users looking for means to aid their remote work and to keep themselves entertained.

During the third quarter of 2020, boAt captured a market share of 32.4% in the earwear category in India, according to IDC data.

The company, whose products compete with JBL and Realme, had an annual revenue of 7.01 billion Indian Rupees ($95.86 million), as of March 2020.

Indian business-to-business e-commerce startup Udaan has raised $280 million, it said Wednesday, as it seeks to serve more mom-and-pop businesses that are buying products online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Udaan said existing investors including Chinese tech giant Tencent, Lightspeed Venture Partners, DST Global, GGV Capital and Altimeter Capital participated in the fundraising, along with new investors – Octahedron Capital and Moonstone Capital.

The Bengaluru-based firm, founded in 2016, is now valued at more than $3 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.

A representative for Udaan declined to comment on its valuation.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the already fast digital-led evolution of highly fragmented and unorganized Indian trade/ retail industry,” Udaan co-founder Amod Malviya said.

Udaan, which offers everything from consumer goods to fruits and vegetables, has now raised $1.15 billion to date, the company said.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil, Subrat Patnaik and Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Shinjini Ganguli)

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