US private equity firm Warburg Pincus has invested about $100 million (roughly Rs. 730 crores) in Boat, the India-based consumer electronics firm said on Wednesday.

Boat, known for its budget-friendly Bluetooth speakers and wireless earbuds, was last valued at nearly $283 million (roughly Rs. 2,070 crores) after a $59.6 million (roughly Rs. 440 crores) funding round in December, according to PitchBook data.

Personal electronics products like headphones have seen a revival in sales since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with homebound users looking for means to aid their remote work and to keep themselves entertained.

During the third quarter of 2020, Boat captured a market share of 32.4 percent in the earwear category in India, according to IDC data.

The company, whose products compete with JBL and Realme, had an annual revenue of over Rs. 700 crores as of March 2020.

In November last year, data released by International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that Boat lead in the earwear category with 32.4 percent of market share in the third quarter, and Samsung came in second with 15 percent share. Narrowing it down to the true wireless stereo (TWS) category, Boat again led with a 26.1 percent share, and Realme came in second with 15.5 percent market share.

Similarly, another report by Counterpoint published in the same month showed that Boat emerged as the leading player in the Indian TWS earbuds market in the third quarter. The New Delhi-based company launched a list of earbuds across price segments during the quarter that helped increase its market share to 18 percent from the 10 percent reported in the second quarter. Boat also managed to leave behind Realme that was leading the market previously.

After Boat, Xiaomi came second in the Indian TWS earbuds market in the third quarter. The market share of the company, however, dropped to 16 percent from the 20 percent reported in the second quarter.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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