Teabox is a Coimbatore – based online tea selling platform/startup. The startup announced yesterday (14/12/2017) that it has raised US $7 million in Series B round of funding from the Singapore – based VC firm, RB Investments. The startup’s existing investors, as well as DBS Bank, participated in that round of funding. DBS Bank funded the startup by means of debt investment. The startup will use the funds to upgrade its technology platform (mobile app and cold storage facilities), improve its tea distribution network and increase its presence throughout India and abroad. Read more on Investments
“The new financing will primarily help the company expand its backend infrastructure, including a cold-chain processing centre (at Siliguri), and support our growth in key markets”, Kaushal Dugar, founder and CEO of the five-year-old startup said.
The present storage capacity of the startup’s cold-chain processing centre is 15,000 to 20,000 kilograms. With this investment, the startup plans to increase the storage capacity of its cold-chain processing centre to 50,000 kilograms by the end of 2018. Around US $1.5 million of the US $7 million secured through investments will be used to increase the capacity of the startup’s cold-chain processing centre and around US $3.5 to 4 million will be used to market the brand according to Kaushal Dugar.
“We have established a strong digital presence. We are now mulling to go multi-channel through offline formats by setting up our exclusive outlets at airports and partner with online marketers such as Amazon. We have a network of 150-plus suppliers across the country”, Kaushal Dugar said.
The startup produces tea from tea growers, working in tea estates in Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiris and Nepal and ships them directly to consumers in Coimbatore and Tamil Nadu thereby cutting short the traditional distribution chain where 3rd party logistics providers cause a delay in transporting and distributing the tea packs. The startup currently offers 250 different flavours of tea and produces 40 million cups of tea every year!
“The end-to-end supply, from the growers to the cup, has helped Teabox drastically reduce the time-to-market from 4-6 months to under a week, ensuring only the freshest of teas reach the consumer”, Dugar said.
“The biggest challenge has been in getting people to understand that tea as a product can be sold online. Since we focus only on premium teas, priced upwards from ₹10,000 a kg, connoisseurs of tea and ardent tea enthusiasts have been our target segment. Volumes are growing. Our growth this year was up 2.5% over the preceding 12 months. We are looking to sell 50 million cups soon”, Dugar added.
The Government of India should fund, incubate and mentor more of such innovative and useful startups like Teabox. Read more on Startup News
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