Ratan Tata, former chief of the Tata Group and currently chairman emeritus of group holding company Tata Sons, who is currently on an investment spree in Indian start-ups, has recently invested in a speciality tea brand – Teabox.
Teabox, which was previously known as DarjeelingTeaxpress, is an online portal founded by Kaushal Dugar in 2012, with an aim to sell fresh Darjeeling Tea, directly from origin to customer. It is the only premium tea brand that caters to tea-lovers to more than 75 countries with the best tea blends from Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri and Nepal.
The company claims that claims that the time between order and delivery is less than a week. What drastically speeds up the time is that Teabox handles distribution, supply, storage and logistics itself.
The Siliguri-based startup had previously raised seed funding of $6.4 million from Accel Partners and Horizen Ventures in 2014 to grow its global tea-commerce business and claims to have delivered over 30 million cups worth of tea to customers in 93 countries.
Even though the size of the investment remained undisclosed, Kaushal Dugar, founder and CEO of Teabox, said,
Ratan Tata needs no introduction for the kind of strategic direction and commitment he brings to the table.We have grown up admiring and respecting his (Tata’s) vision and business acumen on scaling the Tata group to a global level. His direct guidance and experience in the tea industry will surely help us grow Teabox to be the first global premium tea brand from India.
Ranging from e-commerce firms to cab aggregators, Tata has been aggressively investing in start-ups for the past year or more. Dew of his previous investments include firms like Snapdeal, Kaaryah, Urban Ladder, Bluestone, CarDekho, Sabse Technologies, Xiaomi and Ola. He is also associated with some venture capital funds in an advisory role, including Kalaari Capital, Jungle Ventures, IDG Ventures and LetsVenture.