Punjab-based beverage startup Lahori has raised US$ 15 million funding from Belgium-based consumer-focused investor Verlinvest for an undisclosed minority stake. Lahori will use the funds to double down on its brand's growth through offline and online expansion and enhance the brand's national presence in retail chains. The fresh fund will also be utilized to develop and launch new category-creating products.
Lahori is a startup with a vision to introduce better-tasting, category-defining 'Desi' drinks in India, targeting people in Indian cities and villages alike. They are bringing their products to every individual who likes to enjoy "ghar ki desi drink". The business plans to expand its presence across India in three years. The capital raised in this round will expand production capacity and accelerate branding and marketing efforts.
Verlinvest is a leading global, family-owned evergreen investment group with multi-billion dollar assets under management backed by families who have together built one of the world's largest consumer beverage businesses. Verlinvest has invested in several beverage firms globally, backing multiple billion dollar brands such as Oatly, Vita Coco, Hint water, among others. It also counts brands such Sula, Veeba, Epigamia, Byju's, Purplle and Wakefit among its portfolio in India.
Speaking on occasion, Saurabh Munjal, co-founder and chief executive officer, Lahori, said, "We are delighted to partner with Verlinvest in our journey to become a widely loved beverage brand in the country. We want to give Indian consumers beverage options that resonate with their taste palette. We know that the ethnic beverages market in India is underserved, and we have the vision to become a prominent force in this space."
Shagun Tiwary Shah, investor, Verlinvest, said, "Given the legacy of our Belgian family shareholders, beverages are a core focus area for us. Lahori has become a dominant player in the space quickly, creating a product loved by the masses. Among all the beverage companies we have seen so far in India, Lahori stood out for its taste, product innovation and customer pull. We are excited to work with them on their next leg of growth."
The non-alcoholic beverage industry in India is growing at a phenomenal rate and is expected to exceed US$ 18+ billion by 2026. In India, given majority of the population resides in Tier II and III cities, price points have been a critical aspect in penetrating the markets and building a brand with customer loyalty. The Indian market currently remains underpenetrated with low percapita consumption at about 5.5 liters per annum despite the population size vis-a-vis the per capital consumption in the US, which is estimated to be at least 20x higher.
Pareto Capital, a Mumbai-based investment banking firm, was the sole advisor to the company for this transaction and worked closely with the management team to bring the deal to fruition.