In Startup50 2017: Vahdam Teas is a vertically integrated, direct to consumer and online tea brand that sources tea from 175 Indian plantations and exports to 76 countries. Post winning Startup50, the company raised US $1.4 million in a round led by Fireside Ventures, to build a global tea brand from India.
Founders: Bala Sarda
Strengthening direct sales: Vahdam Teas is one of the first vertically integrated, direct to consumer and completely online tea brands to come out of India. At present, the company sources tea from over 175 plantations and small growers across Sikkim, Bihar, Nilgiris, Assam and Darjeeling and Nepal. Interestingly, it has zero retail presence and its entire sales operation is conducted online.
Establishing an effective supply chain:
Through the efficacy of its supply chain, Vahdam Teas aims to produce fresh tea out of India. Its primary differentiator is its supply chain, where sourcing to warehousing to packaging happens in less than 72 hours. After an order is placed, it takes the company only four days to ship out to the U.S. and six days to ship to Europe and South-East Asia. Given the process time taken by the traditional tea industry, Vahdam Teas’ timeline is commendable.
Capturing the exports market:
Established in 2015, the young company currently exports tea to 76 countries worldwide. Vahdam Teas’ primary markets are the U.S. (where nearly 50 per cent of its sales come from), U.K., Russia and South-East Asia. It recently entered the Japanese market and will soon enter China. India only accounts for less than 5 per cent of its sales.
Vahdam Teas’ annual revenue for FY16 was Rs. 1.5 crore which grew to Rs. 9.05 crore in FY17. It hopes to take this number to Rs. 24 crore in the next fiscal.
The company has also sourced angel funding to the tune of Rs. 4 crore in January 2017. Its investors include Kanvaljeet Singh, Mumbai Angels, Fireside Ventures and 35 other angel investors like Singapore Angel Network, Anand Ladsariya and Balvinder Kalsi. In the near future, it plans to raise a pre-series A.
- One of the first vertically integrated, direct to consumer and completely online tea brands from India
- Primary differentiator is supply chain, where sourcing to warehousing to packaging happens under 72 hours
- Sources tea from 175 Indian plantations and exports to 76 countries
- Vahdam Teas has raised angel funding to the tune of Rs. 4 crore in January 2017 and US $1.4 million last month.