Cycle maker Ninety One raises Rs 225 crore from A91 Partners, existing investors

Mumbai-based bicycle maker Ninety One has successfully raised Rs 225 crore in a Series A funding round led by venture fund A91 Partners at close to Rs 1,000 crore valuation, said its founder and CEO, Sachin Chopra.

Founded by former Sequoia Capital executives, A91 Partners has invested Rs 160 crore, while existing investors Fireside Ventures, Avaana Capital and Titan Capital have put in Rs 65 crore.

Chopra said the company will use the funds to drive aggressive growth plans, which include the establishment of two manufacturing plants in Gujarat and expansion into European and North American markets.

Founded in 2015 by brothers Sachin and Vishal Chopra, Ninety One claims to be one of the fastest-growing sustainable movement and active lifestyle brands in India, with a retail network of over 1,000 stores in 500 cities and towns.

VT Bharadwaj, General Partner at A91 Partners, said: "We are excited to back Ninety One as a leading brand in the new Indian lifestyle, truly capable of delivering world-class products to global consumers." and electrical cycles, establishing itself as a powerful brand with wide distribution and solid manufacturing capabilities. "

Post Series A round, A91 Partners’ Bharadwaj, Fireside Ventures' Vinay Singh, and Avaana Capital’s Sandeep Singhal will join the company’s board.

"What Dyson has done to vacuum cleaners, we aspire to do for the bicycle industry," he told ET. "Our bikes are massively designed products. We are giving a $1,000 experience for $150. We decided to enter this segment, focusing on the need to offer better products."

He said the company reports revenue of Rs 25 crore per month and sells 25,000 cycles and bikes every month. He said nearly 75% of sales come from tier two to four cities, and only 25% come from the big eight.

The company currently has a manufacturing plant in Ahmedabad, which produces 10,000 bicycles per month, and works with two factories abroad in Ludhiana and Sri Lanka.

"We are planning to establish two more facilities, in Ahmedabad and Baroda, each with a production capacity of 50,000 cycles per month," said Chopra. "The idea is to achieve 70% of the production within the company."

Last year, the company launched its Indian-made Meraki electric bike at a retail price of $ 400, or about Rs 30,000.

"The Meraki is designed and manufactured entirely in India, and we have several patents for it. We also plan to increase the production of electric bicycles," said Chopra.

Currently, the bicycle market in India is pegged at around Rs 12,000 crore annually, with 23-25 ​​million bikes sold annually. The main brands in this segment include Hero Cycles, TI Cycles (BSA and Hercules), Avon and B-Twin.

Last year, Ninety One raised an undisclosed amount from private equity firm Avana Capital and Snapdeal founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl's Titan Capital. It has also obtained seed funding from Fireside Ventures.

A91 Partners, floated by VT Bharadwaj, Gautam Mago and Abhay Pandey in 2018, marked the final close of its second fund at $550 million in November.

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