Chai Thela, a Noida-based quick service restaurant chain, has raised Rs 1.5 crore from Quarizon in a seed round of funding, led by Quarizon’s Chairman Aditya Gupta, who will also be joining the company’s board.
The foremost thing the platform aims to do is build up a team and system in place. It is also planning to come up with more outlets in Delhi-NCR and will soon launch a cart at the Hyderabad airport.
“We are happy to have Quarizon on board as an investor and strategic partner. Quarizon understands scale, strategy and has the right approach for growth and we look forward to a successful association with them,” says Pankaj Judge, Founder, Chai Thela.
On the funding, Aditya says that the quick-service restaurant industry is highly competitive with respect to price, service, location, personnel and the type and quality of food being served.
Launched in 2014, Chai Thela, a modernised version of a roadside cart offering hygienic tea at an affordable price point, was initially supported by Taranjeet Sapra, Peeyush Bhardwaj and Bishneet Singh.
Pankaj says that when launched, his three friends gave the financial support. He believes that in India, 96 percent of tea is sold from a roadside cart and in an unhygienic environment. He is addressing the hot beverage market that still does not have many players bringing disruption.
The startup presently offers its services across nine outlets in Delhi-NCR.
The tea market in India is estimated to be worth Rs 33,000 crore and has been growing at a pace of 15 per cent annually. The tea retail market is largely unorganised and more than 90 percent consumption happens through small vendors. However, over the past years startups have jumped at the idea of bringing tea to the young and busy working class.
Chai Thela competes with Chaayos, Chai Point and Teabox. Last September, Chai Point secured $10 million in a new round led by Fidelity’s proprietary investment arm, Eight Roads Ventures (formerly Fidelity Growth Partners India), with participation from Saama Capital and DSG Consumer Partners.