A91 Partners, founded by former Sequoia Capital executives, has invested Rs 160 crore, while existing investors Fireside Ventures, Avaana Capital and
Capital have put in Rs 65 crore.
The company will use the funds to fuel its aggressive growth plans, which include setting up two manufacturing facilities in Gujarat and expanding into the European and North American markets, Chopra said.
Founded in 2015 by brothers Sachin and Vishal Chopra, Ninety One claims to be one of India’s fastest growing active lifestyle and sustainable mobility brands, with a retail network of over 1,000 stores across 500 cities and towns.
“We are excited to back Ninety One as a pioneering new age Indian active lifestyle brand that can truly deliver world class products to global consumers,” said VT Bharadwaj, general partner at A91 Partners. “Ninety One has out-innovated the competition in bicycles and electric cycles, establishing itself as a strong brand with extensive 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.
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“What Dyson has done to vacuum cleaners, we aspire to do to the bicycle segment,” he told ET. “Our bicycles are heavily engineered products. We are giving a $1,000 experience for $150. We decided to get into the segment, focusing on the need to offer better products.”
He said the company is clocking a revenue of Rs 25 crore a month, selling 25,000 cycles and bikes every month. Almost 75% of the sales are from tier II to IV towns, and only 25% are from the top eight metros, he said.
Currently, the company has one manufacturing facility in Ahmedabad, producing 10,000 bikes a month, and works with two outsourced factories in Ludhiana and Sri Lanka.
“We plan to set up two more facilities – in Ahmedabad and Baroda – each with a capacity of producing 50,000 cycles a month,” Chopra said. “The idea is to get 70% of the production in-house.”
Last year, the company launched its Made-in-India e-bike Meraki at a retail price point of $400, or about Rs 30,000.
“Meraki is completely designed and manufactured in India, and we have multiple patents for it. We plan to ramp up e-bike production as well,” Chopra said.
Currently, the bicycle market in India is pegged at around Rs 12,000 crore annually, with a sale of 23–25 million cycles per year. Top brands in the segment include Hero Cycles, TI Cycles (BSA, Hercules), Avon and B-Twin.
Last year, Ninety One had raised an undisclosed amount from mid-market private equity firm Avaana Capital and Snapdeal founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl’s Titan Capital. It had also secured initial 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.