Chaayos raises $53 million for business expansion

Tea cafe chain Chaayos on Thursday said it has raised $53 million (around Rs 414 crore) for tech-enhancement, hiring and store expansion as it plans to add 100 stores by the end of this year. The company said the funding round was led by Alpha Wave Ventures with participation from all existing investors Elevation Capital, Tiger Global and Think Investments.

"New funds will be used for tech-enhancement, hiring and store expansion," it said in a statement.

Founded in 2012 by Nitin Saluja and Raghav Verma, Chaayos runs 190 stores across 6 cities and plans to add another 100 by the end of 2022.

At Chaayos, guests can personalize their fresh cup of 'chai' in 80,000 combinations and Chaayos IoT enabled tea bots called Chai Monks, make this possible.

It said the company's facial recognition software enables faster checkouts and payments.

"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 the Indian society over decades to come.

"Like always, we will continue to grow our cafe footprint and go deeper into the cities we are present in and explore new markets. We are also continuously on the lookout to hire talent to handle the scale that we aspire for," Saluja said.

Deepak Gaur, Partner, Elevation Capital said, "A unique combination of innovations in food and drinks offerings, strong leverage of technology solutions and obsession over customer satisfaction has positioned Chaayos as a clear leader in their space."