Cerana Beverages raises seed round to make India’s first crafted beer

Microbrewery is now picking up in India and beer lovers are looking for more beer options than the branded ones.

Beer is one of the largest consumer categories in India ($5 billion in market size compared to $300 million for branded café/coffee market). It is also one of the fastest growing consumer categories, growing at double digit CAGR for the last 10 years. Craft beer has been a secular bright spot in the alcohol beverage category world wide, and now commands almost a 30% share in the profit pool in the American beer market.

Cerana Logo

Cerana Beverages, India’s first and leading craft beer company announced that it had raised a seed round of funding for expansion of its business in India. The round included senior angel investors from New York, Singapore and London, and senior executives of leading technology firms from Silicon Valley and private equity firms in New York, all of whom invested in their personal capacity. This is Cerana’s first round of outside investment, and the first such deal in the craft beer space in India.

The funding will be utilized by the company to launch ‘Biru’ – the first Indian craft beer brand and to roll out the company’s proprietary draft beer dispense network in Delhi and Mumbai. The launch of Biru is slated for August of this year in the top cities in India.

Commenting on the development, Ankur Jain, CEO said,

With Biru, we aim to fulfill the gap in the market for a trendy, unorthodox, fun and smart brand of beer. The world today is full of individuals who are tired of the insipid mass-market formula adopted by large domestic and international brands. Biru creates an alternative brand which is edgy and fun, and above all creates a product which is delicious.

The first variant of Biru will be an easy drinking, low bitterness wheat beer, which will be launched in both bottles and draft formats.

At the same time, Cerana will be rolling out ‘Craft Beer Hive’, the country’s first brand independent draft beer dispense network. The draft beer network will allow Cerana to dominant market share in high traffic, high volume on-premise outlets in the country.

Sharing the rollout plans, Jain further shared,

We plan to roll out the draft beer network in 200 outlets in Delhi and Mumbai in this fiscal. The draft beer business in India has been plagued with several logistics and commercial challenges. Our team has developed several proprietary technological innovations in our draft beer dispense solution, made interventions in the supply chain, and innovated on the consumer experience and are confident of dominating this segment in the country in the next 12 -18 months.

As part of its expansion, two key executives have joined Cerana. Tanmoy Mukherjee, ex-Marketing head Lavazza Coffee and an alumnus of Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, has joined Cerana as its Chief Marketing Officer. Anuj Krishan, ex-Director from UBS Investment Bank, London and alumnus of IIT Bombay has joined as Chief Operating Officer. They join Ankur Jain, Founder- CEO and Anshul Agarwal, VP-Operations in the leadership team.

Can Cerana’s crafted beer prove to be a good option to packaged branded beer?

Subodh Kolhe