Diageo enters e-alcohol space with Rs 270 mn investment in HipBar

Diageo enters e-alcohol space with Rs 270 mn investment in HipBar

MUMBAI: Diageo India, the country’s leading beverage alcohol group, through its legal entity United Spirits has made an equity investment in HipBar, a payment technology start-up that serves the needs of the beverage alcohol industry and its consumers, through a mobile wallet and delivery app.

Diageo has acquired a 26 per cent equity stake in HipBar for Rs 270 million.

Diageo India is committed to transforming the beverage alcohol industry and with this investment, the company will support HipBar’s digital ambition and help expand its footprint across more markets. HipBar unlocks the industry’s need to provide better experiences, promote responsible consumption and digitally connect brands, retail stores and consumers through a common digital platform.

With the HipBar app, age verified consumers can browse a range of alcoholic beverages, select a brand of their choice and pay through the mobile wallet to have the product delivered at their doorstep (where permitted) or pick it up from a retail store at their convenience.

HipBar has developed a stringent age verification process as well as highly compliant standard operating procedures to ensure that the company’s delivery service fosters a safe drinking environment in India.

On the B2B front, HipBar works closely with the beverage alcohol industry and the government to custom build software and deploy technology projects that will help the category to move forward in a compliant and sustainable manner. 

Some of these digital initiatives include last mile alcohol delivery platform, SaaS based e-governance module for use by governments, HipBar point-of-sale for standalone licenced retail stores and HipBar Pay for government controlled retail stores. 

Founded in 2015, HipBar operates in Bengaluru and Chennai.

Diageo India CEO and managing director Anand Kripalu says, "E-commerce is making an impact on just about every industry imaginable, and the beverage alcohol industry is set to be the next sector to be disrupted by the continued shift to digital. This investment allows us to discover ideas that anticipate shifts in consumer behaviour and enables us to remain at the forefront of trends."

HipBar will continue to run as an independent enterprise driven by its founding team.

HipBar founder Prasanna Natarajan mentions that the company’s interest will always be subservient to how HipBar is performing in the social sphere and if it is indeed bringing the intended benefits of technology to help people drink more responsibly.

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