Imagine Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd., is the parent company that conducts business operations under the brand name ‘boAt’ and markets audio-focused consumer electronic products. It was incorporated in India in November 2013 by Sameer Ashok Mehta and Aman Gupta.
Its product repertoire includes wireless earbuds, wired headphones, wireless speakers, home audio equipment, smart watches, and a range of mobile phone accessories. The company also produces special editions of its various audio hardware products, which form a part of its promotions or collaborative tie-ups with other brands.
boAt’s Funding History
boAt has raised USD 177 million in funding over 7 funding rounds spread across 6 different venture capitalists. These were Fireside Ventures, Navi Loan, InnoVen Capital, Warburg Pincus, Qualcomm Ventures, and Malabar Investment Advisors. Below is a brief timeline of the year, the type of funding, and the amount raised.
|Announcement Date||Transaction||Amount Raised (In Rupees)|
|October 28, 2022||Convertible Note||500 crores|
|April 16, 2021||Series B Funding||50 crores|
|January 5, 2021||Series B Funding||10 crores|
|September 1, 2020||Debt Financing||25 crores|
|July 26, 2019||Debt Financing||16 crores|
|July 17, 2019||Debt Financing||20 crores|
|May 3, 2018||Venture Round||60 crores|
Reasons for Cancelling IPO
In February this year, boAt filed IPO papers with SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) to raise a massive amount of INR 2000 crores. However, according to SEBI regulations, the company was allowed to raise a maximum of INR 180 crore equity. boAt succeeded in raising INR 500 crores (approximately USD 60 million) from its current investor Warburg Pincus and a new investor Malabar Investments through a private placement of preference shares. In light of receiving this amount of funding, boAt proactively delayed the launch of its IPO (Initial Public Offering). According to various reports, Malabar and Warburg Pincus will be able to convert those preferred stocks into equity at a valuation of INR 120 crores whenever boAt goes ahead with its IPO.
The primary reason behind the canceled IPO of boAt is the volatility that currently afflicts the global market at large, be it the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, the impending recession, the stock market crash, etc. boAt has followed companies like Mobikwik, PharmEasy, and Droom by its IPO cancellation.
Future Plans of boAt with New Cash Infusion
Earlier, a majority of the boAt products were made in China, and boAt is now attempting to diversify its production base. Towards this end, it has formed a joint venture with Dixon. It has also moved a sizeable portion of its production to India where it now produces a million devices every month. Aman Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of boAt said –
“We are the second largest player internationally in earwear and have established leadership in our core individual audio segment. Being one of the top brands in the world with a brand that was created in India is a source of tremendous pride. We now want to make smart watches our second core and will rebuild the boAt digital strategy to become global leaders in this sector as well. The additional capital will enable us to dramatically increase our investments to disrupt the smartwatch markets with more cutting-edge technologies. We are also delighted that investors remain firmed convinced of and confident in the boAt narrative.”
Following this, Sameer Mehta, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer said –
“The majority of companies lack control over the end-to-end stack necessary to provide customers with attractive features because the market is still in its early phases of evolution. Great potential exists to develop the market and provide more innovative and cutting edge solutions. The next generation of devices is being developed by boAt laboratories, our 120-person internal R&D team and KaHa Technologies, a world class IoT and wearables platform with 64 pending and granted patents. These gadgets will give users more in-depth wellness information and extensive features enabling them to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.”
From their interviews, it is clear that boAt intends to do two main things with the cash infusion –
- Attack the smartwatch market
- Pay off its debts
boAt’s Marketing Strategy
The smartphone ecosystem in India has grown exponentially which has flooded the market with accessories like headphones and earphones with a big brand presence like Apple, JBL, Sony, Bose, etc. However, the Indian consumer is price sensitive and wants value for the amount spent. The accessories that these brands offer are expensive and Indian consumers are used to using earphones that came packaged with smartphones. Hence, the need to pay a premium price for audio accessories and purchase them separately was a problem. Also, Chinese products and second copies of well-known brands were freely available with street vendors and were cheap but lacked quality and durability.
boAt identified this gap and its target customer segment – the Millennials who looked for quality at a reasonable price. Recently boAt was listed as one of the world’s top five brands in IDC’s wearables and hearables list along with names like Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, and Fitbit. 60% of boAt’s business comes from its headphones. Its sharp pricing makes the company’s products aspirational and affordable.
boAt’s earphones have a special message for all its users as soon as it is turned on. It says – “You are plugged into Nirvana.” The boAt company has skyrocketed its India and Global presence in a short space of time and managed to launch affordable, stylish, and excellent quality consumer electronic products.
Who is the CEO of boAt?
Vivek Gambhir is the Chief Executive Officer of boAt.
Who invested in boAt IPO?
Current investor Warburg Pincus and a new investor Malabar invested USD 60 million in boAt IPO.
What is the reason behind boAt's success?
The primary reason behind boAt's increasing revenue and profitability is the growing demand for affordable and high-quality audio products in the country.
Who are the biggest competitors of boAt?
The top competitors of the Boat are Gonoise, Mivi, and Skullcandy.