To refresh those who missed the seed round, just like a good cuppa, Teabox is an online store that sells tea to customers in 75 countries. It works directly with over 200 plantations in India and Nepal, with its own storage facilities near to plantations. It handles distribution, supply, storage and logistics itself, that’s an arrangement that drastically speeds up the time taken for tea to reach customers. Traditionally the process takes months given the long chain of players involved in picking, sampling selling, stocking etc. Teabox claims its time between order and delivery is a week or less.
While he didn’t divulge Teabox’s secret sauce, I was curious to know the optimal time for consuming tea. Dugar revealed that all Teabox leaves are kept inside one of its cold storage facilities within 48 hours of being picked from the plantation. That, he said, keeps them as fresh six months down the road as it would be the next day.
Dugar said the business could be made profitable tomorrow, if needed, but it is taking funding to scale more aggressively and vie for a larger slice of the global tea business, which he roughly estimated to be worth $40-60 billion per year.
It’s an audacious target, to be sure. Teabox didn’t disclose user numbers, but it claimed its orders have grown 10x over the past year with 20 million cups (around 40,000 kg) shipped to date. Last year, that figure was at 5 million cups.