Leading actress Nayanthara and her film director beau Vignesh Shivan have joined a list of investors to back Chennai-based start-up Chai Waale, which has raised Rs 5 crore in the latest funding round to expand its business. Vidur Maheswari, the 27-year-old entrepreneur who launched the venture three years ago, has turned Chai Waale into an entity that has drawn the attention of the celebrity duo. The mid-range beverage provider, which has 20 outlets in the prominent locations in Chennai, is aiming to take the quick service restaurant format to 35 physical ones by next year.
The funding is intended to promote physical and strategic expansion of Chai Waale throughout the city. Investors both,existing and new, have fuelled this round of funding for Chai Waale. Its list of angel investors include Sunil Sethia, SunilKumar Singhvi, ManishMardia, UNI-M Network, a Mumbai-based angel network and celebrities like Nayanthara and Vignesh Shivan.
Additionally, private organisations such as Unlisted Kart LLP (online trading platform of unlisted shares) from Bengaluru and Conscience Multi Family office based out of Chennai among other investors are playing a major role in this round of funding. “Nearly 80 pc of the current funding will be utilised in physical store expansion. We aim to have 35 fully functioning stores by the next year. Rest of the fund will be earmarked for marketing, expansion of back-end systems and managerial team,” said Vidur Maheswari, Founder, Chai Waale.
The home-grown QSR brand is planning to set shop in places with high footfalls including Metro stations and malls, at the same time it is leaning towards fulfilling the tea and snack needs of the entire family. To suit the taste buds of the entire family,Chai Waale has recently added soups, momos and an additional range of sandwiches to its menu. Additionally, new flavours of ice-tea,desserts and some quick items are in the pipeline.