Ratan Tata invests in tea startup- TeaBox
TeaBox, the online tea retail startup, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Ratan Tata, former chief of the Tata Group. These funds will help the startup accelerate its growth and expand across the major markets of the world. TeaBox aims to offer a new and unique experience to tea customers with its innovations in design, supply chain and technology.
Darjeeling TeaXpress is an e-commerce startup for supplying fresh tea to customers. It was started by Kaushal Dugar in July 2012 aiming to sell fresh Darjeeling tea, which later expanded to include teas from Assam, Nilgiri and Nepal and became TeaBox in 2013.
TeaBox raised around $1 million in seed funding led by Accel Partners India, along with Singapore's Horizen Ventures, to serve fresh tea packages across the world. TeaBox aimed at speedy tea delivery to customers by eradicating the traditional distribution layers of resellers and marketers. After 2 years of testing the idea, it developed to replicate the model for targeting consumers in China and Japan.
TeaBox launched an online subscription scheme where the subscriber received an assortment of 10 different types of tea in an elegant box. The subscription cost between $30 and $35/ month (inclusive of shipping) varying on the monthly, half-yearly and annual subscription plan. The freshly harvested tea leaves were available to customers along with tasting notes and brewing guidelines.
Since its launch in 2012, TeaBox had shipped 10 million cups' worth of tea to customers in 65 countries including major markets of Russia, the UK and Australia.
Online tea retailer TeaBox secured US$6 million in its Series A round of funding, led by JAFCO Asia. The funding from JAFCO Asia was used primarily to support Teabox's growth in key markets including China, Japan and Korea. The funding round also saw the participation of its former investors Accel Partners, Keystone Group LP and Dragoneer Investment Group.
Texas billionaire, Robert Bass, signed an unusual partnership with the Indian startup TeaBox for the mutual appreciation for tea. Bass invested in TeaBox after the startup raised $6 million from the Series A round of funding. TeaBox founder confessed that Bass' contribution had given him a 'secret weapon' to disrupt India's $4.8 billion premium tea market within 3 years.
Natasha Jen, from Pentagram, used the original stencil typeface and paired it with solid blocks of color for the packaging, inspired from the East India Trading holograms. This made the packages look more edgy and futuristic.