Bira 91, an Indian-based craft beer maker, recently secured a US$30 million bridge funding from existing investors like Sequoia India and Sofina. Bira is also one of the official sponsors of the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the company signed a five-year partnership deal with the cricketing body in November 2018. While Bira recently received a bridge funding, the funding comes at a time when Indian start-ups, who have investors from China, are expected to new government guidelines on venture capital.
On April 18, the Indian government tightened Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) policies in order to prevent takeovers by firms from China. This move was criticised by China and in fact brought to the notice of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Regarding the bridge funding, Bira officials stated that the US$30 million equity will be used to consolidate its position as India’s leading beer market.
While they have no backing from their Chinese investors due to regulations imposed by the Indian government, Bira’s Founder and Chief Executive Office Ankur Jain said that the company will continue to grow like before. He also said that Bira’s market shares are currently over 5% of their overall beer and more than 20% of their premier beer.
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has impacted worldwide cricketing activities. It forced ICC to put all proposed international tours on hold till June this year. Among major ICC events, the ICC T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in Australia between October and November. However, recent reports suggest that the tournament is likely to be delayed or cancelled if the coronavirus crisis continues to impact ICC’s cricketing schedule.
Apart from ICC, even the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently postponed the much-awaited Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) season until further notice as India lockdown continues to remain in effect. The IPL 2020 was originally intended to commence from March 29. Since the T20 World Cup is currently clouded with much uncertainty at the moment, recent reports also suggest that IPL 2020 could well take the October window.