How This Tea Entrepreneur is Brewing Disruption in the E-tailing & Export Tea Market
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Online tea brand Vahdam raised INR 75 crore in Series C round of funding led by consumer fund Sixth Sense Ventures. A cluster of reputed family offices and HNIs including Mankind Group Family office, Infosys Founder Kris Gopalkrishnan, SAR Group Family office, Zomato Co-founder Pankaj Chaddah, Urmin Group Family office, etc., also invested in the company. The Delhi-based company’s early backer, Fireside Ventures also participated in the current round, marking its third investment in the company.
The funds will be utilized for launching new products and entering new markets such as South Asia, India and UAE. With this funding, the total amount raised by the firm is INR 110 crore.
Commenting on the fundraise, Sarda said, “We are delighted to have Sixth Sense Ventures back our vision and join us in the journey creating a proud home-grown brand for the world. With the current fundraising, we aim to further penetrate key markets, invest heavily in R&D, launch innovative products, enter new markets globally and further strengthen our management team. Excited to take the brand to the next level of growth with this round.”
The Indian Tea Market
India is one of the largest tea producers in the world. It has been exporting approximately 200 million kg of tea annually for over the years. With the whole world going digital, there is still time for tea to gain traction in the ecommerce space unlike books, clothes, groceries, accessories etc.
Vahdam Teas was founded in 2014 by 28-year-old Bala Sarda in Delhi. In an interview with Entrepreneur India, Bala, a fouth-generation entrepreneur, said that tea business is in his blood.
“My family is been into tea for very long time. But they have been into bulk export of tea for 80 years, which is very different to what I am doing at Vahdam Teas." He further added the curtailment of multiple middlemen, supply chain problems create fuss and cut profit margins of teapreneurs in retail market. With the use technology, innovation and originality, Vahdam Teas sells its products directly to consumers.”
The tea commerce market in India is not a very crowded one. Recently, another tea brand, Teabox raised $1 million in seed funding round. Other startups such as Chai Point, Chaayos etc are popular in the brick-and-mortar format.