Sunshine Teahouse Pvt. Ltd, which runs tea café chain Chaayos, has raised $21.5 million in a Series B2 round led by San Francisco-based investment firm Think Investments.
The company raised $18.5 million of primary capital from Think Investments and other investors, and $3 million of venture debt from InnoVen Capital in this round, Chaayos founder and chief executive officer Nitin Saluja said.
Existing investors Tiger Global Management, SAIF Partners, Hong Kong-based Integrated Capital, and former WhatsApp chief business officer Neeraj Arora also participated in this round.
“We will deploy the capital to expand our store network, hire a few more senior people, and invest more in technology," Saluja said over the phone.
Chaayos raised $12 million in September 2018 from SAIF Partners, Integrated Capital, and Singapore-based growth-stage investment firm, Pactolus.
Gurugram-based Chaayos was founded in 2012 by IITians Saluja and Raghav Verma.
The company has 80 stores, of which 50 are in Delhi-NCR, 22 in Mumbai and eight in Bengaluru, where it launched operations in November 2019.
The company is confident of increasing its store count to 300 across the cities they are already present in, over the next three to four years, said Saluja.
The chain offers several tea varieties customised to customers’ requirements, as well as snacks. To automate the tea-making process, Chaayos uses an Internet of Things-enabled tea machine called Chai Monk, Saluja said.
“We have structured ourselves as a neo-retail business, which is a traditional retail business heavily leveraged on technology. The entire technology stack that Chaayos runs on has been developed in-house and we have filed for multiple patents as well," he said.
The chain recently drew flak over the facial recognition system set up at some of its outlets but later clarified that customers can opt-out of it.