Vahdam Teas, Delhi-based tea e-tailer, a brand that is direct-to-consumer founded by Bala Sarda in April 2015. Vahdam Teas generates its 100% sales through its website. It is 4th generation tea entrepreneur’s foundation, over 80 years of lineage in the Indian tea industry. Vahdam teas procure their tea within 24-48 hours of harvest directly from more than 150 tea plantations in India & Nepal and delivered at door to consumers across the world. Vahdam teas deal in 83+ countries as of now.
“Due to global boundaries and the fact that tea is primarily grown in India, Sri Lanka and China, while the huge consumers are the US and Europe, the supply chain for the last 200 years was that teas were plucked and exported in bulk taking three to four months. They were then packed and handled by multiple middlemen, by the time the consumer gets to have tea it is 10 months onward,” said Sarda.
Vahdam teas do not pack in a container for months like every other everyday cup of tea before sale. The Vahdam teas are directly obtained within 24-48 hours of production from the tea growers and plantations, freshly packaged and directly shipped from India. The start-up is mainly focused on delivering the fresh high-quality garden teas and also providing all the better earnings to the millions of people who are truly devoted in growing & nourishing teas with passion, love and care, by eliminating all middlemen.
Vahdam Teas Funding:
Recently, Vahdam teas rose funding of $1.4M funding in Series A. Earlier than this the startup had raised seed funding of $2 million in Jan 2017. Before the investment made, Kanwaljit Singh, the founder of Fireside Ventures joining the board members team of Vahdam Teas.
“India is well known globally as a producer of the finest Teas and it’s heartening to see a young brand and a young, dynamic entrepreneur leading the charge to showcase the best of Indian Teas to consumers across the world. Vahdam Teas has built a great supply chain & traction in the last 2 years and we are privileged to join him on this journey and hope to help build an iconic Indian brand that’s enjoyed by consumers across the world,” said Kanwaljit Singh.
|Date||Round||No. Of Investors||Amount||Lead Investors|
|Dec 11, 2017||Series A||3||$ 1.4 Mn||Fireside Ventures|
|Jan 18, 2017||Angel Round||3||$ 2 Mn||Kanwaljit Singh|
Investors of Vahdam Teas:
- Fireside Ventures
- Singapore Angel Network
- Mumbai Angels
- Kanwaljit Singh
Vahdam Teas is planning to utilize the raised funding in expanding its product portfolio by introducing new categories in flavoured tea and wellness tea. Also, a portion of the raised capital will be used to strengthen the logistical and warehousing capabilities of the US, because currently, more than 70% sales of Vahdam Teas’ total sales earn from the US. The funding is also be used to strengthen, infiltrate deeper into the Indian market, for making a strong brand platform.
“Over the last 2 years, we have worked very hard in setting up an efficient supply chain, right from the estates of India to our consumers in the US and other parts of the world, with a sole vision to make available the freshest cup of tea to consumers by leveraging technology. And, we plan to now further penetrate our key markets with customer acquisition and marketing. It is an honour to have Fireside Ventures come on board, with their massive experience in building consumer brands,” said Bala Sarda.
Vahdam Teas Accomplishments:
Started in 2015, the first online tea brand, a vertically-integrated, Vahdam Teas. Currently, the startup owing three sourcing centres in Darjeeling, Nilgiris and Assam and a warehouse in Delhi. Vahdam Teas providing services to over 150K customers in more than 83 countries. On average, the current sale of the startup is more than 15,000-20,000 order per month. Presently, the startup under its signature blend, also selling loose tea leaves with over 70 in-house.
According to Bala Sarda, currently, loose teas estimate about 80% of all sales. The gross profit margin of Vahdam Teas owns more than 50% revenue, which is 7 times over the last 10 months. Tea is directly sold through the startup’s website and through the partnership with the U.S. e-commerce giant, Amazon. Vahdam Teas has its page on Amazon’s U.S. site and it looks like that the startup is a part of India-based Launchpad program by Amazon.
“We focus more on retention marketing than user acquisition marketing. We’ve not really spent a lot of money on marketing; we’ve been focused on finding the product market fit. Now we plan to focus more on marketing, logistical capabilities and launch into more categories including the subscription service. With 150,000 customers we think we are still scratching the surface,” said the Vahdam Teas CEO.
Major Competition for Vahdam Teas in the Market:
Tough competition is with the West Bengal-based, Udyan Tea and backed with Ratan Tata, Teabox. Today number of startups is working in the Indian tea industry with both the domain online and offline. A major market player in the Indian tea industry is Chaayos, a Gurugram based startup, also raised $2 million funding in recent from Tiger Global Management, the existing investor of the startup. Chai Thela and Chai Point, a well-known name in the tea industry, also backed by Saama Capital, also rose funding from the market.
The competition is really tough for all the startups in building their brand a well-known among all. After giving several of years in the Indian tea industry the competition is rising with each passing day. Almost each and every start-up is backed by the well-known name of the venture industry but it will be interesting to watch who have the potential to use the funds in the right direction according to the startups need and who will be the market player among all.
Future Aspect of Vahdam Teas:
One thing is for sure that these tea startups striving to introduce the beverage at the world level not only in India. India is the second world’s largest tea grower and also the biggest consumer. With this recent funding of the startup, Vahdam Teas intending to cross all their obstacles and hurdles in the business development in the US and targeting to cover Europe region. Also, the startup is planning to launch the subscription-based service model to increase its loyalty-based customer. Bala claims, that its 45% customer return to buy its repeat purchase order in every four months.
The start-up Vahdam Teas gains so much popularity and expands its reach not only in India and the USA but also in 83+ countries in the world within its two years of commencement. But the question raised is the taste of success will keep continuing tastier with the time? Will the founder lead the start-up to success and continue to work even better from today by keeping their quality and standard in their mind?
Well, this is just the beginning but the remaining part left to watch how far they can reach with their new funding, how they will use it in which direction. The concept to expand their business out of India to the world is not a novel idea but they were implementing so well as of now and we hope the startup will keep the pace of getting success even high. We wish Vahdam Teas a great success ahead, in overseas as well.
(Featured Picture credit- Vahdam Teas Web Page)
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