Saturday, March 26, 2011

Murthy's Catamaran Invests In Energy Drink Maker

Bangalore -- Catamaran Investment Pvt. Ltd, the $129 million venture capital fund set up by Infosys Technologies Ltd Founder and Chairrman N.R. Narayana Murthy, has invested in a start-up that wants to sell a lemon-flavored energy drink that will compete with Red Bull.

Catamaran, Bangalore-based FootPrint Ventures and four angel investors, have invested a total of 60 million rupees in Gurgaon-based Hector Beverages Pvt. Ltd, with Catamaran and FootPrint Ventures share at 25 million rupees each.

This is Catamaran's first investment in a start-up; its other investments include provider of small loans, SKS Mircofinance Ltd, and education services provider Manipal Universal Learning Pvt. Ltd.

"Currently, we are seeing …opportunities in very early and very late stage, and not so much in mezzanine," said Arjun Narayan, Catamaran's investment head.

Hector Beverages, which hopes to pitch its Tzinga drink against Red Bull, plans to utilize the funds to expand production capacity and strengthen its distribution network.

For starters, Tzinga will offer a 200 ml pack for 20 rupees, vs. Red Bull's price of 85 rupees for a can of the same size.

"Our unique selling point is its Indian taste and affordable price," said Neeraj Kakkar, CEO and a co-founder of the company, who added that such "functional beverages were negligible in the non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink segment; now, they are 40% of the market."

Functional beverages include the wide array of non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages that have ingredients such as herbs or vitamins, and are sold as energy drinks, sports and performance drinks, enhanced fruit drinks and water.

Tzinga, initially, will be sold in the National Capital Region and Bangalore, Mr. Kakkar said, without specifying its launch date.


Post a Comment

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grocery Coupons