As per the industry experts the global tea market is valued at about $90 Bn. Tapping this billion dollar market, Teabox is a ecommerce startup founded in 2012, by Kaushal Dugar, which has announced today, that it has raised about INR 40 Cr ($6 Mn) in Series A funding from venture capital firms JAFCO Asia, Keystone Group and Dragoneer Investment. Teabox’s existing investor, Accel Partners, also participated in the funding round.
Siliguri-based Teabox is a premium tea brand delivering tea all over the world and is focused on vertical integration of sourcing, branding and distributing teas. The company aims at providing the best class Indian tea sourced from over 200 plantations in the country including the likes of Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri & Nepal.
Kaushal Dugar, founder and CEO, Teabox, also a former KPMG executive, is a passionate tea lover. His instinct to relish the business comes from the fact that he comes from a family that has been associated with tea for generations. Prior to this, Teabox had raised $1 Mn seed funding from Accel Partner and Horizen Ventures.
Commenting on the infused funds Dugar said that the company plans to invest in the back-end infrastructure to enable transactions and order processing and to hire around to hire 40 to 60 people in the next two months. Further, the company also plans to invest in cold storage facilities in close proximity to the plantations in the three prime tea plantations region viz Darjeeling, Guwahati and Nilgiri.
Dugar also added, “We are extremely privileged to have JAFCO and Dragoneer as our investment partners as we expand into new markets, primarily – China, Japan and Korea where they have strong connect and also to have Robert Bass who first discovered Teabox as a customer and has now participated in this round as an investor through Keystone Group. And of course Accel has been our growth partner helping and guiding us since they came on board post seed funding.”
Till date, Teabox has shipped over 20 Mn cups of teas to over 75 countries and generated over 95% of their revenue from customers outside India. The startup claims to have seen 10 times growth in past one year in terms of orders/revenue.
Supriya Singh, an associate director at JAFCO, said, “Teabox’s disruptive business model is highly scalable and allows complete control of the customer experience. JAFCO’s expertise across different markets will add significant value to Teabox in the coming months.