Indian e-commerce startup, Vahdam Teas that sells premium tea brands globally, has amassed INR 75 crore in the funding round, which was led by the consumer-focused fund, Sixth Sense Ventures. The startup decides to employ the funds to come out with new products and foray into India as well as international markets.
A cohort of high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and family offices encompassing Mankind Group family office, SAR Group family office, Urmin Group family office, S Gopalakrishnan, founder of Infosys, and Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder of Zomato have partaken in the funding round, stated The Economic Times.
The startup’s early investor, Fireside Venture has also partaken in the funding round. This transaction counts as the third investment of the investment company. Online tea distributing firm has collected INR 110 crore to date.
Business Enhancement and Other Plans
Vahdam Teas was incorporated in 2014 by Bala Sarda, who belongs to a tea trading family. Apart from running an online platform, the company is working along with the likes of Amazon to penetrate the consumer markets of Europe, the US, and other nations.
The company prepares tea by directly procuring from 150-200 plantations and tea growers in Nepal, as well as India, in less than two days. Once large chunks of tea are received, then it gets processed, refined and packaged and later, exported to other markets with two to three days’ span.
“With the current fundraising, we aim to further penetrate key markets, invest heavily in R&D (research and development), launch innovative products, enter new markets globally and further strengthen our management team,” Bala Sarda, Founder of the Vahdam Teas, said in an interview to The Economic Times.
“Today about 99 per cent of its sales come from outside of India,” said Sarda said in an interview to Tech Crunch.
After raising funds, the startup also decides to get into the markets of UAE as well as South Asia. The media agency, TechCrunch reported that the company wants to venture into the brick and mortar segment and want to bring its product over the counter in the US in the offing.
“We have aspirations to become an omnichannel brand,” Sarda said in an interview with Tech Crunch.
In contrast to other nations, India holds a share of 25 per cent in tea production.
“India controls about 25 per cent of tea production worldwide. But Indian brands almost have a “negligible presence” on the world map, said Nikhil Vora, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sixth Sense Ventures, said in an interview with Tech Crunch.
“Vahdam is an interesting example of how a traditional business like tea can get disrupted. We’re impressed with the way Bala has sought to target the global markets first and create a brand salience and market innovative ethnic Indian tea flavors,” Vora added.
In India, tea is amongst the largest industries which provide jobs to small laborers. For creating a social impact, the startup contributes 1 per cent of its earnings to aid these laborers in educating their kids.