New Delhi, India based tea café chain, Chaayos recently secured funding of US$21.5M in equity and debt financing. Out of US$21.5 million, US$18.5M equity round was led by San Fransisco based Think Investment and also participation from existing investors, including Tiger Global, SAIF Partners, Integrated Capital, and Neeraj Arora, Ex-CBO of WhatsApp. Innoven Capital pumped in the remaining US$3M venture debt.
Previously the company had raised US$20 million from Tiger Global, SAIF Partners, Integrated Capital, and Pactolus.
Chaayos was founded in November 2012 by two IITians – Nitin Saluja and Raghav Verma, and is a contemporary interpretation of the Chai Adda (Catchup over tea), serving freshly made tea. Their primary focus is on serving “MERI WAALI CHAI” customized tea for everyone. They have over 12000 varieties of tea and option of 12 add-ons. Patrons can choose from over 80,000 customizations of tea. The company is currently serviceable in Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Chandigarh, Faridabad, and Gurgaon and expanding rapidly.
Chaayos also focuses on using technology for simplifying and personalizing the customer experience. Recently, Chaayos has introduced a technology stack offering a guest experience via facial recognition. Their database recognizes you as their regular customer and recommends the tea you usually order. Also, it provides you with a facility of paying without any hassles.
Chaayos has patented IoT tea bots called Chai Monks, which are integrated with “Kettle” – Chaayos’ proprietary point of sale, which brews a cup of personalized tea as per guest preference.
Interestingly, Chaayos claims that Chai Monks’ personalized chai increases the customer repeat frequency to up to 3.5 times a month. The company also claims that leveraging technology improves their bottom line by up to 5 percent.
Nitin Saluja, Founder and CEO of Chaayos, said, “Our biggest validation comes from the 1.7 million registered guests that choose to come back to Chaayos at a very high frequency. Continued confidence of our guests has allowed us to expand our cafe network at a fast pace, and we will end FY20 with nearly 100 cafes.”
“We shall endeavor to get to 300 cafes over the course of the next three to four years. Alongside growing our café network, we will continue to invest heavily into technology and augment team across all levels.”