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India’s Third Wave Coffee raises $35m in new private equity round

Completion of the funding round led by private equity firm Creaegis means the Indian specialty coffee chain is now valued at around $150m

A Third Wave Coffee store in New Delhi, India | Photo credit: Ravi_Sharma1030 / Shutterstock 

Bengaluru-based Third Wave Coffee has raised $35m in a new private equity round led by Creaegis. The specialty coffee chain’s existing investors, Westbridge Capital and the founder of e-commerce platform Sujeet Kumar also participated in the round, which values Third Wave at $150m.
Founded in 2016 Third Wave is part of a fast-growing scene of Indian coffee start-ups, including, Blue Tokai, and Nothing Before Coffee and abCoffee. The chain now operates 104 coffee shops across India and said the Series C funding was a ‘monumental step’ in its goals to accelerate growth and invest in tech-enabled convenience.
“At Third Wave Coffee, we are not just building a brand; we are constructing a financial fortress that will stand the test of time. Our focus on leveraging technology is unwavering, as we strive to bring a consistent and exceptional coffee experience to our valued customers,” wrote Third Wave Coffee Co-founder Ayush Bathwal on social media.
Although Third Wave Coffee is some way behind its previously stated ambition to reach 300 stores in 2023, the new investment underlines the growing prominence of India as a global hotspot for coffee and hospitality commerce.

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In January 2023, Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters raised $30m in Series B funding to open 200 new stores over the next three years. In May 2023 Nothing Before Coffee outlined plans to rapidly scale its café network and open more than 50 new outlets within12 months.The following June, Haryana-based Barista announced a $12m investment to open 150 new stores by the end of 2024.
International brands are also weighing to the Indian market as consumers embrace aspirational hospitality concepts and espresso-based coffee. Starbucks, which operates in India in partnership with domestic conglomerate Tata, now operates more than 330 stores across the country.
Costa CoffeeTim HortonsPret A Manger and Dunkin are also seeking to expand in India, now the world’s most populous nation and home to a young and increasingly affluent consumer base.

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