How This Entrepreneur Raised $7 Mn Funds Over Tea
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Raising funds is one of the most challenging parts of growing a business. Eventually, the fresh funding is either utilized to expand the team or scale up the business.
For Kausshal Dugarr, Founder & CEO of Siliguri-based Teabox, the recent investment was the ideal opportunity to expand their backend infrastructure including cold chain processing centers and growth in key markets.
In December, the five-year-old start-up raised $7 million in Series B funding from Singapore based investment firm RB Investments, with participation from their existing investors.
Entrepreneur India had a chat with Kaushal Dugar to know how Teabox plans to utilize the money raised. He also shared the best advice for entrepreneurs to impress investors and raise a successful funding round.
Expanding Reach Beyond Online:
Over the last few years, Teabox has built a strong presence online with their website and channel partners (likes of Amazon.com, Amazon.in, Big Basket etc.).
Dugarr has now realized the need to take this experience closer to our audience through a multi-channel approach.
"We are exploring a range of offline opportunities like Pop-up stores, experience stores, retail formats, tie-ups within the HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant, and Catering) segment and much more. Very soon our consumers will be able to see and experience Teabox at multiple touch points in their daily lives. Our multi-channel approach will take the "fresh tea experience" closer to the consumer," shared Dugarr.
Dugarr emphasized that perhaps Teabox is the only global tea brand to have an extremely strong digital presence that has fuelled their growth so far.
"This funding will only help us further our growth when we go multi-channel to create a 360-degree experience for the customer through offline formats. We don't want to miss out on this huge potential and this investment is going to help us push the levers in this direction," he added.
Is Competition Always Good?
India is the 2nd largest producer of Tea in the world after China. But Dugarr feels tea, as a category has been neglected for years. All the major players in this category have always favored volume over quality. With Teabox, he is on a mission to ensure that every cup of tea consumed across the world is fresh.
"While we have been one of the first entrants into this category, off late we have seen a lot of brands emerging in this space. At this initial stage, we strongly believe that the competition is necessary as every other brand out there will only educate the customers and will help in building this vertical," said Dugarr.
3 Mantras for Startups Looking For Funding:
Raising funds require much more than just a great pitch deck.There are a few things every startup founder needs to know before he starts approaching investors. Dugarr also shared top To-do list for entrepreneurs to raise a successful funding round.
"Stick to the brand's founding principles. It helps you stay strong as you grow. Secondly, look out for constant feedback from customers and invest it back into the business. Lastly, focus on unit economics from an initial stage. Profitability is where the buck stops," said Dugarr.
Five years down the lane, Dugarr sees Teabox as a dominant speciality tea brand known for freshness, quality & authenticity.
"We intend to replace Tea with Teabox for the world," he concluded.