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Startup Funding 25 Mar 2015

Teabox brews fresh $6 million in funding from JAFCO Asia, others

Founded by Kaushal Dugar in 2012, the speciality eCommerce start-up based in the North Eastern town of Siliguri aims to remove the traditional distribution layers of resellers and marketers.

Teabox, the innovative startup that delivers delicious teas to the tea-curious worldwide, announced today the close of $6 million in Series A round of funding led by JAFCO Asia. The other participants include Accel Partners, which seed funded the company in early 2014, Keystone Group LP and Dragoneer Investment Group. The new financing will be used primarily to support Teabox's growth in key markets.

Robert M. Bass, President of Keystone, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Kaushal, JAFCO, Accel, and the entire Teabox team. I am a longtime tea drinker and first discovered Teabox as a customer. Given the superior quality of the company’s product and its innovative approach to sourcing, marketing, and distribution, we see great things ahead for Teabox.”

Kaushal Dugar, who comes from a family of tea growers involved in the business for over 80 years, started TeaBox in 2012. The speciality eCommerce start-up based in the North Eastern town of Siliguri aims to remove the traditional distribution layers of resellers and marketers.

"We are very excited about the opportunities this financing gives us as we continue to grow our business and expand our offerings. Both Accel and JAFCO believe in the value proposition of Teabox and we look forward to having them as valuable contributors to Teabox's evolution and growth," said Dugar.

With its sourcing centers located at the tea growing regions, Teabox procures its teas directly from the growers, does extensive value addition and ships them to customers all over the world. By evading the traditional distribution chain, Teabox is able to reduce the time-to-market from 4-6 months to a under a week. This ensures only the freshest teas reach the consumers.

Carrying a selection of over 200 fresh teas from over 200 different plantations in Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, Kangra, northeast India & Nepal, Teabox offers the largest selection of single-estate teas online. Within 2 years of its existence, Teabox has delivered over 20 million cups’ worth of tea to customers in 75 countries. Additionally, customers can also choose from a variety of subscription plans to receive curated boxes of delicious tea samples for $20/month.

Talking about the significance of this investment, Supriya Singh of JAFCO said, "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."

Over the last 12 months, Teabox’s orders have grown by 10x. Teabox has thus far shipped 20 million cups' worth of tea to customers in 75 countries. Prashanth Prakash from Accel Partners said, "We are excited to continue our association with Teabox in building the first vertically integrated consumer brand to come from India.”

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