For years United Spirits was synonymous with the Mallya family and the ubiquitous Kingfisher beer. However, since the downfall of Kingfisher Airlines (and the subsequent court cases against Vijay Mallya) USL is now owned by Diageo and have recently acquired a 26% equity stake in liquor delivery startup HipBar.
HipBar uses a mobile wallet and delivery app to cater to the alcobev market. Since its inception in 2015, HipBar is currently up and running in Chennai and Bengaluru, with United Spirits hoping it will provide them with more opportunities in the e-commerce and online markets.
“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,” United Spirits chief executive officer Anand Kripalu said in a statement.
HipBar has a very stringent age-verification process to ensure that alcohol is being consumed responsibly. Despite United Spirits’ 26% equity HipBar will continue to be run as an independent enterprise driven by its founding team, led by Prasanna Natarajan.