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Tea e-tailer Teabox raises $6 mn in Series A from Accel Partners, JAFCO Asia, others

Online tea
retailer Teabox has recently raised about $6 million in Series A funding from a
clutch of venture capital firms, including JAFCO Asia, Keystone Group and
Dragoneer Investment.

Teabox Founder & CEO Kushal Dugar told the Economic Times that existing investor Accel Partners,
which had earlier invested $1 million as seed funding in the e-tailer, also participated
in the funding round.

“We are
looking to invest in the cold storage facilities in close proximity to the
plantations in Darjeeling, Guwahati and Nilgiri – the three prime tea plantation
regions in the country,” Dugar was quoted in the report as saying.

Former KPMG
executive Kushal Dugar, who started the business in 2012, reportedly plans to
hire 40 to 60 people in the next two months.

Siliguri-based Teabox
sources its tea from over 200 plantations in the country for its customers in
75 countries. It eliminates intermediaries by selling online. The company has a
technology and marketing team in Bengaluru.

“We are
able to supply our tea at its freshest quality within a week to the consumer.
Whereas traditionally, it takes close to six months before tea from the
plantation reaches the endconsumer,” Dugar told the Economic Times.

Commenting on
the investment, Supriya Singh, an associate director at JAFCO, was quoted in
the report as saying, “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.”

One of the key
investments in this funding came from American billionaire Robert M Bass, who
is also chairman of Aerion Corporation, an aerospace firm. “I am a
longtime tea drinker and first discovered Teabox as a customer. The superior
quality of the company’s product and its innovative approach to sourcing,
market ing, and distribution has made us a partner with them,” Bass, President
of Keystone, told the Economic Times.

Hitherto, Teabox
claims to have sold over 20 million cups’ worth of tea and counts the US and
Europe as prime markets. The company sees China, Japan, Korea, and East Asia as
its growth markets. 

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