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Alcoholic Beverage Group Diageo Invests 27Cr in Payment Startup HipBar

With the HipBar app, age verified consumers can browse a range of alcoholic beverages, select a brand of their choice and make payment using the mobile wallet and have product delivered or pick it up from a desired retail store

Diageo India, the country’s leading beverage alcohol group, through its legal entity United Spirits Limited has made an equity investment in Hip Bar Private Limited, a payment technology startup that serves the needs of the beverage alcohol industry and its consumers, through the HipBar Mobile Wallet and Delivery App.

Diageo India aims to transform 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 make payment using 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 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 (POS) for standalone licensed retail stores and HipBar Pay for government controlled retail stores. Founded in 2015, currently HipBar operates in Bengaluru and Chennai.

Talking about its investment in HipBar, Anand Kripalu, CEO and managing director, Diageo India said, “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. At Diageo India, we have been innovating and meeting consumer trends by offering new products and formats. This investment allows us to discover ideas that anticipate shifts in consumer behaviour and enables us to remain at the forefront of trends. We believe that HipBar is creating the right conduit for all players across the industry as it opens up a new and convenient route to reach consumers within the industry’s complex regulatory environment. HipBar will continue to run as an independent enterprise driven by its founding team.”

Sharing his views on the recent investment by Diageo India, Prasanna Natarajan, founder of HipBar said, “We are glad to welcome Diageo India as an investor in HipBar and it shows the industry’s commitment and need for digital transformation. As a business, our interests 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. We hope to bring in the global best practices and build sustainable partnerships with governments, the trade and all the players in the industry to drive this category evolution.”

Diageo has acquired a 26 percent equity stake in HipBar for Rs 270 crore. 

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diageo United Spirits Limited HipBar payments app

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