National Chai Day: these 5 startups are reinventing tea
Chai is the second-most popular drink in the world. Here are 5 startups that are serving innovative tea brews, blends, and snacks across India.
Tea is not just a beverage, it is an emotion and a feeling for Indians. The beverage originally came to India from China via the British, and has today become an intrinsic part of our culture.
To celebrate the special and beneficial drink, National Chai Day was started in 2018. On this day, people treat their loved ones to different varieties of tea.
A cup of chai can be a welcome drink for guests or a time for families to come together and enjoy the drink. Chai also has many health benefits. It is a great source of antioxidants, it aids in digestion, and is a remedy for cold.
India is also the second-largest producer of tea and fourth-largest tea exporter across the globe. With a fertile ground for investments in this billion-dollar market, a number of startups have emerged in the recent years with innovative and new ideas.
Here are five chai startups in India that are aiming to revolutionise the tea industry.
has become a prominent name in the chai business. The Delhi-based startup, which was founded by Nitin Saluja and Raghav Verma in 2012, allows customers to brew chai in their own style.
This is one of the main reasons why Chaayos has been able to stand out from other tea startups. So far, the tea startup has dominated the chai cafe market in India with more than 200 outlets spread across India.
When it comes to its branding, Chaayos interacts with its customers via social media platforms and has gained a massive following. In fact, its estimated brand value is around $75 million. In 2022, Chaayos raised $53 million in Series C funding led by Alpha Wave Ventures.
Started in 2013 by Kavita Mathur and Uday Mathur, Tea Trails is a Mumbai-based cafe chain. The company, which is one of the first tea cafes in India, was started at a time when there was no organised tea cafe brand in the country.
The brand is currently offering more than 80 tea varieties including classic favourites like Gud wali chai and unique blends. Currently, with 50+ cafes across India, Tea Trails has become a strong brand in the country.
How many tea brands do you know that serve farm-fresh tea leaves? Very few. Amongst hundreds of tea brands, Teabox is a premium D2C company founded by Kaushal Dugar in 2012.has emerged as a competitive player in the market.
Headquartered in Siliguri, West Bengal, the startup brings high-quality and fresh tea leaves from Darjeeling, Nilgiri, and Assam. With over 120 tea plantations present in India and Nepal, Teabox has stood strong in terms of quality and eliminated costs and third-party involvement by dealing directly with farmers.
Additionally, the startup also offers a subscription-based service that collects fresh tea leaves, processes them, and packs them within one week. Teabox's unique proposition has attracted many investors such as Ratan Tata, JAFCO Asia, NB Ventures, etc.
is one of the first tea startups in India. Launched by Amuleek Singh Bijral in 2010, the Bengaluru-based startup is a leading tea company and cafe. Having more than 150 outlets across six cities in India, Chai Point serves different types of teas, including hot or iced teas, shakes, and tea snacks.
So far, Chai Point has received a total of $56.6 million in funding. The startup is known for delivering hot chai within 30 minutes, and also caters to get-togethers, group trips, etc.
Based out of Delhi, Tpot Cafe was founded by Asad Khan, Robin Jha, Abhay Bansal, and Atit Verma in 2013. The seed-stage startup has expanded with around 40 outlets in Delhi. With an aim to tap into an estimated Rs 33,000 crore tea market, Tpot Cafe aims to grow its reach.
So far, Tpot Cafe has appealed to a broad customer base because of its unique tea servings such as hibiscus tea, chamomile tea, and saffron tea, along with complementary snacks.