[Funding alert] Tea chain startup Chaayos raises $53M in Series C led by Alpha Wave Ventures
New Delhi-based chai cafe chain Elevation Capital, Tiger Global Management, and Think Investments.on Thursday said it raised $53 million in its Series C round led by Alpha Wave Ventures, with participation from its existing investors
The startup will use the fresh capital for tech enhancement, hiring, and store expansion.
Chaayos is a technology-led chai cafe chain started by two IITians—Nitin Saluja and Raghav Verma—in 2012. At present, it runs 190 stores across six cities and plans to add 100 more by the end of 2022.
At Chaayos, guests can personalise their fresh cup of tea in 80,000 combinations. Its patented IoT chai bots called Chai Monks are deeply integrated with “Kettle”, a Chaayos’ proprietary point of sale, and brew a fresh cup of personalised tea to guest’s preference as soon as the order is placed.
Further, Chaayos’ AI platform enables a seamless guest experience, such as its facial recognition software enables faster checkouts and payments.
Founders of Chaayos - Raghav Verma and Nitin Saluja (Left to Right)
Nitin Saluja, Founder and CEO, Chaayos, said, “Very early on in our journey, we took a 50 year view on the chai market and decided to take a technology first approach to build a chai brand."
He added, "The latest capital raise will help us deepen our technology investments to further enhance our guest experience... We will continue to grow our cafe footprint and go deeper into our existing cities and explore new markets. We are also continuously on the lookout to hire talent to handle the scale we aspire for."
Deepak Gaur, Partner, Elevation Capital, said, “A unique combination of innovations in food and drinks offerings, strong leverage of technology solutions and obsession over customer satisfaction has positioned Chaayos as a clear leader in their space.”
“We are excited to partner with Chaayos. Its team has been able to deliver personalised tea consistently well at scale through proprietary systems and technology. We are impressed by the team’s customer obsession, which is visible in its best-in-class unit economics and customer NPS," added Navroz Udwadia, Co-founder, Alpha Wave Global.