Ratan Tata-backed Teabox gets funding from Dubai’s NB Ventures
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Speciality tea e-tailer, operated by Singapore-based AsianTeaxpress Pte. Ltd, has raised an undisclosed amount from Dubai-based NB Ventures, the family office of Neelesh Bhatnagar.

Existing investors also participated in the funding round, multiple media reports said, citing a company statement.

Founded in 2012 by Kausshal Dugarr, Teabox runs a portal to ship fresh Indian tea directly to customers across more than 117 countries including the US and Russia.

The company recently opened an experience centre at the Bengaluru airport and plans to open three to five such centres in the coming months.

“This funding has capacitated us to raise a significant amount for our future growth prospects. Neelesh and all our investors have trusted us immensely and with their support and credence we’re looking forward to remarkable expansions for Teabox in the near future,” said Dugarr.

Teabox had raised $1 million in its seed round of funding from Accel and Singapore-based Horizen Ventures in 2014. In 2015, the company raised $6 million in a Series A round led by Singapore-based VC firm JAFCO Asia and existing investor Accel, along with Keystone Group LP and Dragoneer Investment Group.

In June 2016, the company had raised an undisclosed amount from Singapore-based angel investor and tea connoisseur Cameron Jones and venture debt from DBS Bank. In January the same year, it had raised an undisclosed sum from Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata.

In December 2017, it raised $7 million (Rs 45 crore) in a Series B round from Singapore-headquartered investment firm RB Investments and existing investors.

Tea retailers funding

The broader tea retail segment has attracted some funding in the past few years.

Earlier this year, VCCircle reported that venture capital firm Hunch Ventures and a former worldwide head of consulting firm McKinsey & Co Rajat Gupta invested in speciality tea brand Teamonk Global Foods Pvt. Ltd. 

In October last year, Vahdam Teas Pvt. Ltd, a Delhi-based tea e-tailer, raised Rs 18 crore (about $2.5 million) in its Series B round of funding from existing investors Fireside Ventures and Mumbai Angels.

Tea retail outlets such as Chai Point and Chaayos have also raised multiple rounds of funding.

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