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Chai startups get going again after Covid blow

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Sanghamitra Kar

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Sanghamitra Kar

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The likes of Chaayos, Chai Point and Tea Post are seeing a strong recovery after the pandemic shrunk their revenues. Some businesses are already back at pre-Covid levels.

February 20, 2023

5 MINS READ

Tea café chains raised sizable rounds of funding to create a Starbucks Coffee-style experience around chai, launching outlets, online ordering and new products at full tilt. Then, Covid-19 happened and their growth was derailed almost overnight.

Chai Point and Chaayos, founded in 2010 and 2012, respectively, are among the most prominent startups in the space. The pandemic left them with an overflowing cup of woe. Chai Point’s revenues sank from about Rs 193 crore in FY19 to Rs 57 crore in FY21. Chaayos went from Rs 97 crore to Rs 61 crore.

Recent financials, though, suggest that they are on the mend. Chai Point’s parent entity, Mountain Trail Foods, made Rs 108 crore in FY22, according to filings sourced from business research platform Tofler. It had a net loss after tax of over Rs 83 crore, up from Rs 78 crore in the previous financial year.

In a challenging market, the company has set plans for an initial public offering. But for that, it would have to first achieve profitability.

Tiger Global-backed Chaayos has surpassed its pre-Covid level, and its total revenues now stand at Rs 140 crore. It has seen nearly 2.5X growth.

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