Guwahati: Esah Tea, a D2C tea brand delivering fresh teas straight from artisanal small tea growers of Assam and Northeast, has raised 3 core ($400K) in its Pre-series A round from NEDFI Venture Capital Ltd. (NVCL). The fundraising by Esah Tea highlights the existing scope in the market for traditional artisanal teas and authentic handcrafted tea products.

Esah is the first tea start-up from Assam to raise VC funding. The brand has earlier raised angel investment from SRD Group and Grant from Assam Startup & NEAT-E-Hub.

Started by a 26-Year-old Teapreneur from Mangaldoi, Esah Tea is based out of the world’s largest tea-growing region: Assam. It presents a range of single-origin organic tea blends that are carefully curated to rejuvenate and revive mind, body, and soul with the natural healing qualities of tea leaves sourced from 150+ local gardens and marginal tea growers.

In addition to this, the brand also follows an eco-friendly approach ditching the use of plastic teabags and any other harmful substances in their packaging. To promote the environment-friendly approach, Esah Tea has developed the world’s first plastic-free organic cotton tea bags, which are handmade out of pure cotton and cellulose base.

Bijit Sarma, Founder & CEO, ESAH Tea

Bijit Sarma, Founder & CEO, ESAH Tea said, “The tea from India has always received a lot of acknowledgements in the domestic and international market. However, over the years, over-commercialisation dented the authenticity of the product. Esah aims at reviving the same by empowering local small tea gardeners and delivering single-origin, Artisanal fresh teas. We are glad that our esteemed array of investors infused their trust into our business model.” 

The brand currently offers a wide range of Organic tea variants like Whole Leaf Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, White Tea. It also offers an array of flavoured tea products – Organic Assam masala Chai, Rose Black Tea, Lychee Black Tea, along with some popular blends including – English Breakfast Tea, Chamomile and Moringa Tea.

Esah Tea products are available on the brand E-Commerce website esahtea.com, along with prominent online marketplace like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal. It can also be availed at offline stores like Repose Bakers Special. Currently, the startup is also delivering to more than 25+ countries through its own D2C online store.

“Esah is producing some world-class tea products. It is maintaining the organic quality which holds a strong market and loyal customer base. The brand has been performing well and appears promising in the longer run. The idea is to together work towards holistic growth of the brand and revival of the industry at large,” said PVSLN Murty, Chairman, NEDFi Ventures.

The company intends to utilize the funds in expanding the marketing and operations team primarily. It will also exhaust a part of the raised investment in developing new products, and launching brand stores in new geographies. The brand is ambitious to convert 20000+ acres of land to organic tea cultivation, and onboard 1000+ Local Small tea growers by 2023. 

North East Venture Fund 

North-East Venture Fund (NEVF), is a North East India focused Venture Fund and is a Joint Initiative of the Ministry of DoNER, NEDFI and SIDBI.  It is committed to providing support to innovative and scalable business models along with building a healthy startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs from the region.

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