boAt raises Rs 500 crore from Warburg Pincus affiliate, defers IPO plan | The Financial Express

boAt raises Rs 500 crore from Warburg Pincus affiliate, defers IPO plan

The company has withdrawn its listing plans for now, and is likely to reconsider IPO plans in the next 12-18 months, a source privy to the development said.

boAt raises Rs 500 crore from Warburg Pincus affiliate, defers IPO plan
According to guidelines, boAt was allowed to raise Rs 180 crore before IPO but the company has raised more than Rs 500 crore of equity so it proactively withdrew its DRHP.

Imagine Marketing, the parent company of wearables brand boAt, on Friday said it has raised Rs 500 crore from existing shareholder, a Warburg Pincus affiliate, and new investor Malabar Investments. The company has withdrawn its listing plans for now, and is likely to reconsider IPO plans in the next 12-18 months, a source privy to the development said.

In a statement announcing the fundraise, the company said the move will fuel expansion into the fast-growing smartwatches category while cementing leadership in personal audio. “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. Sources said boAt has raised funds via private placement through preference shares.

According to the statement, this investment will enable the company to accelerate plans to attain leadership in the smartwatches category, scale up its business across channels and geographies (within and outside India), 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. Earlier, the company had filed a draft prospectus with the market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for a Rs 2,000-crore initial public offering (IPO).

According to guidelines, boAt was allowed to raise Rs 180 crore before IPO but the company has raised more than Rs 500 crore of equity so it proactively withdrew its DRHP. The company is likely to reconsider IPO plans in the next 12-18 months, sources said. boAt co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer 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”.

The new funding, Gupta said, will allow the company to invest significantly to disrupt the smart watches spaces with more innovative products. Along with driving growth in the core audio category and adding smartwatches as a second core, the company said it is making “significant progress” in diversifying its manufacturing footprint via partnerships with various leading Electronics Manufacturing Services or EMS players in India, including Dixon, with whom it has also created a manufacturing joint venture.

A significant proportion of boAt’s products are now being produced in India (about 1 million units every month currently).The company is also putting plans in place to take the boAt brand overseas, the statement said.

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First published on: 28-10-2022 at 15:35 IST