boAt is planning IPO in FY25-FY26: Aman Gupta

Audio and wearables brand boAt, which had earlier deferred its public share sale plans amid stock market volatility, is "not in a hurry" to go for a listing, co-founder Aman Gupta said.

boAt is planning IPO in FY25-FY26: Aman Gupta

Tuesday July 18, 2023,

4 min Read

Audio and wearables brand boAt Lifestyle, which had earlier deferred its public share sale plans amid stock market volatility, is "not in a hurry" to go for a listing, and is looking at FY25-FY26 timeframe for the IPO, Co-founder Aman Gupta said.

In an exclusive chat with PTI on wide-ranging issues, Gupta said that his startup is "well capitalised" for now.

There was a phase when startup IPOs were in fashion but then the markets turned choppy, Gupta recounted.

"We don't need to go for an IPO, as such. We can do that after a few years also... So, maybe FY25-FY26 is what we're looking... We're not in a hurry to list," Gupta said.

boAt's listing is "definitely not this year", he added.

The entrepreneur and investor whose stint with Shark Tank India has made him a household name, was among the invitees at an official delegation during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recently-concluded visit to Paris.

At the Indo-French CEO Forum last week, Gupta spoke about the rise of entrepreneurship and changes sweeping the country, as well as the company's own startup story being a testimony to how real the India opportunity is.

On whether boAt will look at another round of capital raise before listing, Gupta said while the startup is not in need of funds per se, a lot will depend on how things move, and its own growth ambitions.

"We might look at it depending on where we are, and where our ambitions are... Never say never, but it is not like we need funds," he said.

In October last year, Imagine Marketing, the parent company of audio and wearables brand boAt raised Rs 500 crore from existing shareholder, a Warburg Pincus affiliate, and new investor Malabar Investments.

Announcing the fundraise at that time, the company had said the move will fuel expansion into the fast-growing smartwatches category while cementing leadership in personal audio.

During the interview, Gupta said the startup is adequately funded and well-capitalised for now.

"There is a saying, which I believe in... Lakshmi Ji ko kabhi mana nahin karna chahiye (don't say 'no' to Goddess Lakshmi)... If there is money coming in, we will not say no, but do we need it?... The answer is again, no," he said.

Stock market listing allows startups to give an exit to early investors, he explained.

"Listing for a startup is not a question because if you have raised funds you have to give an exit (to investors) because everybody comes with fiduciary duty towards their investors... So, we have to do a listing, it is not about choice. It's just about when," he said.

Earlier, the company had filed a draft prospectus with the market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBIi) for a Rs 2,000-crore initial public offering (IPO), but the company proactively withdrew its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP).

During the time of fundraising announcement last year, 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 company had said that the October funding would allow it to invest significantly to disrupt the smart watches spaces with more innovative products.

It is pertinent to mention that boAt clocked a net sales milestone of Rs 4,000 crore in FY23.

Over the past few years, it has made significant investments in the local Indian manufacturing ecosystem, with most of its audio and wearables products now being manufactured in India via several Electronic manufacturing services (EMS) players, including Dixon, with whom boAt has also created a manufacturing JV.

Edited by Kanishk Singh