Singapore and Bangalore based Teabox, a company that sources and ships teas from Darjeeling, Assam and the Nilgiris, has raised $1 million in a seed round of funding from Accel Partners and Horizen Ventures, a Singapore based early stage investor. Following the round, the company plans to unveil new features such as a subscription service, expand its catalogue and aggressively enter target markets in the next few months.
“Although tea exports have been steadily increasing in recent years, the time to market continues to be inordinately high. Since freshness and quality of tea deteriorates significantly with time, we believe that our technology back end supported by supply chain infrastructure and innovation will help us reach the end customers in a much shorter period of time. Until we came along, delivering fresh teas 5-6 days post production to a customer, say in New York, was practically unheard of,” Teabox founder Kaushal Dugar said in a press statement. Dugar’s family has been involved in the tea industry since the 1940s. Prior to Teabox, Dugar worked at KPMG Singapore.
Founded in 2012, Teabox has a fulfillment center near Darjeeling in West Bengal and sources premium teas directly from the plantations. It ensures freshness of its products by vacuum packing the tea within 24-48 hours of production and shipping it within the next 24 hours. Regardless of where they are, the company claims that buyers receive their tea packs within 3-5 business days.
Since inception, the company has delivered five million cups of tea to tea lovers in over 65 countries including regions such as the Federated States of Micronesia, Chile, Argentina, Fiji and the Ural Mountains (Siberia). It offers over a 100 varieties of tea.
“The tea industry, which is expected to touch $40 billion in turnover, is ready for disruption. Global ecommerce can circumvent the existing value chain and enable tea producers to connect with customers directly world over. The founder and team members bring on board a deep understanding of the tea industry coupled with previous experience in e-commerce. We see great potential in Teabox becoming the next global tea brand from India,” Accel Partners senior partner Prashant Prakash said.
If you have a passion for tea, also check out Udyan Tea, an online tea marketplace founded last year by Siliguri based entrepreneur Parvez Gupta.
Images credit: Teabox
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