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India's Chaayos raises $53m to grow café footprint

The Indian tea chain will use new investment totalling $53m to expand its café footprint in the country, explore new markets and hire new staff to enable future business growth

Chaayos runs 190 stores across six cities in India and plans to add another 100 by the end of 2022 | Photo credit: Chaayos


Tea café chain Chaayos has raised $53m in its latest funding round which the company says will enable it to add 100 stores to its footprint by the end of this year. 

Founded in 2012, Chaayos runs 190 stores across six cities in India and plans to add another 100 by the end of 2022. 

The Series C funding, led by Alpha Wave Ventures, will continue to support plans first outlined by Chaayos in February 2020, when it operated 80 outlets, to operate 300 stores by 2023. A previous investment of $21.5m in February 2020 helped accelerate growth plans. 

The company also cited enhanced innovation within its plans, with Chaayos already utilising facial recognition technology to streamline checkouts and payments and Internet-of-Things-enabled tea machines for greater beverage customisation.  

"The latest capital raise will help us deepen our technology investments to further enhance our guest experience and build a ubiquitous brand that is an integral part of Indian society over decades to come," said Nitin Saluja, CEO, Chaayos. 

Due to trading restrictions during the pandemic, Chaayos reported a 45% fall in revenues for the financial year ending 31 March 2021. However, the company's optimistic growth outlook and fresh investment are evidence of a wider improvement in trading conditions across India. 

Following several waves of Covid-19 in the country, branded coffee chain growth and café culture appetite is rebounding, with fellow domestic brand Café Coffee Day recently stabilising finances following a sustained period of mass store closures. Café Coffee Day now operates 495 stores in India. 

International brands are also targeting India for expansion, with Tata Starbucks reaching 270 stores across India, while UK-based competitor Costa Coffee opened 18 net new stores in 2021 to reach 50 stores across the country. 

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