Boat, the homegrown audio accessories brand, has raised $100 million from the private equity firm Warburg Pincus in a fresh round of investment
This investment has come in at a time when a young startup like Boat has become the leading brand in India in its segment which includes products like wireless Bluetooth earbuds, headphones, earphones and speakers etc pipping the more-established brands' likes of Samsung, Bose, Sony.
Boat, which started just four years back, has been primarily focusing on the affordable audio wearable segment and has enjoyed continued success due to factors like offering value for money products that look as fancy as any other products that are way costlier than Boat.
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According to recent data released by IDC, Boat has over 32% market share in the country and had annual revenue of 7.01 billion Indian Rupees as of March 2020. This itself makes Boat the blue-eyed boy of all the hardware startups in the country.
What does this investment mean for Boat?
By offloading a minority share, Boat has not only been able to raise funds that most other Indian hardware startups have failed raise but it also aims to bolster its product line up and focus on R&D apart from improving its manufacturing facilities in the country.
With the Indian government's call to brands for becoming self-reliant and the Indo-China border tension, most brands that are selling products in the country have been looking for local manufacturing opportunities. The fact that almost all components of audio accessories are imported from China and Taiwan, Boat was under pressure to set up local manufacturing facilities.
The company now has a small R&D team based in India that is aimed at reducing the dependence on Chinese counterparts and come up with products that are more suited for the local user base. Additionally, the funds will help Boat to not only add more products of different verticals like fitness trackers etc. and even to ramp up it's manufacturing in the country.