Indian startup Teabox gets funding from Texas billionaire for the taste of tea
Bengaluru, India | Red Newswire | Dec 10, 2015 Last Updated at 1:00 PM IST.
Who knew that the mutual taste for tea could bring an indian entrepreneur and a Texas billionaire together in a partnership. The 67-year old investor, Robert M. Bass doesn’t likes coffee but couldn’t resist tea. On the other side, the 32-year old indian entrepreneur, Kaushal Dugar, who grew up in tea-land of north-east India had been trying to revive the sale of tea through his startup Teabox.
Bass didn’t waste a moment in trying what Teabox had to offer after hearing of Dugar’s startup in 2014. And so he became an investor for Dugar.
Bass said, “The company is trying to bring tea distribution from literally 19th century to 21st. I think that’s fascinating.”
Before bass began investing in the company, it had already raised $6 million from Dragoneer Investment Group LIC, Accel Partners and Jafco Asia Co. For Dugar, Bass’s investment came as a weapon to take on the indian tea market which is worth $4.8 billion.
The two were introduced to each other by Accel Partners. Dugar said, “Mr. Bass was all white hair in rimless glasses. He came across not so much as a multibillionaire but a really nice guy who knows more about tea than anyone.”
According to Sanjeev Raikar, a market research analyst, Teabox has an edge in the competition. He said, “Indian tea supply chain mainly consists of intermediaries such as auction houses, carrying and forwarding agents and wholesalers, which Teabox bypasses by working directly with plantations in India and Nepal.”
Bass said, “I have always felt that India has advantages over China. With China’s wage rates escalating to the point that it is becoming less competitive, India, with its rule of law and widespread English speaking, has a great opportunity.”