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Chaayos gets $21.5m in equity, debt funding



BENGALURU: Chaayos, a multicity chain of tea cafes, has raised $21.5 million in a mix of equity and debt funding led by Silicon Valley-based Think Investments.

Existing investors SAIF Partners, Tiger Global and others also participated in the new financing round, which also includes a $3 million debt investment from Innoven Capital.

The company had raised $20 million prior to its latest funding round. “We will use the capital…to do three things – open new stores, building technology and in hiring,” said Nitin Saluja, founder of Chaayos. “We’ve also picked up some debt, as a business like ours where stores make a profit, servicing debt makes sense.”

Chaayos is looking to grow its presence to 300 stores from 80 currently over the next three years. The company said it will have 100 stores by the end of the current fiscal year.

Saluja said the company would grow revenue by 60% in the current financial year, without disclosing the revenue number. The New Delhi-based Chaayos is looking to go deeper into Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru – where it is present now – rather than spreading itself thin by entering new markets. Currently, the company has 8 stores in Bengaluru, and 72 in Delhi and Mumbai combined.

Saluja said the company has been able to boost its bottom line by 5% due to use of technology, which has helped reduce wastage, improve consistency and improve stock keeping. Chaayos says it has served over 1.7 million customers, with the average repeat rate of ordering tea standing at 3.5 times a month.

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