The parent company of boAt, Imagine Marketing, announced on Friday that it had received Rs 500 crore from an existing stakeholder, a Warburg Pincus subsidiary, and potential investor Malabar Investments.
An insider has revealed that the company has temporarily shelved its intentions to list on an exchange, but that it is considering reviving its IPO within the next year to two.
The business announced the fundraising round with the promise that the money raised will be used to continue their rapid growth and establish themselves as market leaders in both personal audio and the rapidly developing wristwatch market.
“The company is raising Rs 500 crore from its existing shareholder, an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity fund and new investor Malabar Investments,” the statement said.
According to our sources, boAt has successfully completed a private issue of preference shares to obtain capital.
The company’s category leadership in audio will be strengthened, its R&D and design capabilities will be expanded, and the company’s ability to support the development of a domestic manufacturing ecosystem in India in accordance with the Make-in-India initiative will be strengthened, as stated in the statement.
The company had previously submitted a draft prospectus to the Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the market regulator, seeking an IPO of Rs 2,000 crore (IPO).
However, as boAt has already acquired more than Rs 500 crore in equity, it withdrew its DRHP voluntarily rather than risk exceeding the maximum permissible pre-IPO fundraising amount of Rs 180 crore. Insiders said the firm will reevaluate its IPO strategy within the next year to 18 months.
The Chief Marketing Officer and BoAt co-founder Aman Gupta said: “We have established clear leadership in our core personal audio category and are the number two player globally in earwear…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“.
Gupta said the company would use the fresh capital to make substantial investments in research and development of new smartwatch innovations.
The company has made “significant progress” in diversifying its manufacturing footprint through partnerships with various leading Electronics Manufacturing Services or EMS players in India, including Dixon, with whom it has also created a manufacturing joint venture, in addition to driving growth in the core audio category and adding smartwatches as a second core.
India is now the primary manufacturing location for a sizeable percentage of boAt’s product line (about 1 million units every month currently).
According to the statement, the company is also making preparations to expand the boAt brand internationally.