It aims to deepen Moonshine brand's presence in existing regions and also enter new markets, including Haryana and West Bengal in addition to working on its export business
Ronin Wines, makers of Moonshine mead brand, has raised an undisclosed amount of funds as part of its Pre Series A. It will use this capital to boost its growth trajectory in the country further and beyond.
This financing round saw the participation of Anthill Capital, Auxano Capital, Supermorpheus and Merisis, and existing and new angel investors. Value Bridge Capital was the sole advisor for this transaction.
Mead, the oldest alcohol in the world, is made by fermenting honey with various fruits and spices. With the influx of new capital, Ronin Wines aims to deepen Moonshine's presence in its present markets (Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam and Silvassa) and enter new markets like Haryana and West Bengal.
The company is keen to establish Moonshine as a national brand over the next three years. The recently raised investment will also aid it in commencing work on export markets.
Rohan Rehani, co-founder at Ronin Wines, said, "With Moonshine, we are trying to plug the flavour gap for consumers as they transition from juices and colas to beers and spirits. This fits well with the expectations of the younger India who are looking for more flavourful beverages
After winning the International Wine and Spirits Competition in UK, the company claimed that it had been steadily garnering interest from importers in various geographies. The fund raise will enable it to unlock opportunities at the national and international levels.
Nitin Vishwas, co-founder at Ronin Wines, added, "We are very excited to have our first set of institutional investors. Anthill Capital, in particular, already has a strong alcobev portfolio and a very keen understanding of the alco-bev space in India and we are eager to gain from their learnings with other alco-bev startups."
While meads might be a separate category legally, Ronin Wines makes meads. This is predominantly low alcohol and carbonated, often with a hint of nostalgia which has found the company competing with beers and ready-to-drink (RTD) alco-beverages.
According to Vishwas, this switch in consumer preferences is largely because Moonshine meads, which are flavourful and not bitter, are designed for the Indian palate. Unlike beer, this doesn't have to be an acquired taste. Moreover, since most meads in India are low alcohol by volume (ABV) and carbonated, they also compete with premium beer and RTD segments. This market is estimated to be around $5 billion in 2020 and expected to double over the next five years.
As the country continues to shift towards more flavourful options, Ronin Wines hopes that its focus on using 100 per cent natural ingredients to craft flavourful drinks will help it differentiate and dominate this new emerging category of alcoholic beverages in the Indian market.
"Meads are an exciting, fast-growing Alco-Bev category. Ronin has created an eclectic mead brand already seeing excellent market traction from discerning consumers looking for new tastes and flavours. Anthill Ventures is delighted to be an anchor partner in Ronin's journey," said Prasad Vanga, partner at Anthill Ventures.
Karan Gupta, an associate at Auxano Capital said, "Alco-bev is a large and growing sector with white spaces and mead is new to the India markets. Moonshine's flavour assortment and brand positioning is fueling the company's growth and as we foresee, it shall continue to be the pillars for accelerating adoption. We look forward to Moonshine becoming a global brand, differentiated from its competitors by its unique natural flavours created using indigenous fruits and spices."
Established in 2016 in Pune, Ronin Wines launched India's first mead, Moonshine, which was tailored for the subcontinent's palate. In 2021, the company launched Portside, a strong mead range, and is now looking at venturing into the high ABV still-meads segment later this year.