China Digest: Baijia Food gets $16m; Source Code Capital invests in Stori

Stainless steel spoon and chopsticks. Source: Edanur Ağaç/Unsplash

Chinese instant noodles manufacturer Baijia Food has closed 110 million yuan ($16 million) in a Series A round while Source Code Capital and BAI have co-led a $10-million investment in Mexican digital bank Stori.

Instant noodles maker Baijia Food closes $16m round

Baijia Food, a Chinese manufacturer of instant sweet potato noodles, has closed 110 million yuan ($16 million) in a Series A round led by the country’s private equity firm Cowin Capital, as the company aims to introduce new fast-food offerings to the overseas market in 2020.

Shanghai-based investment company Before Capital and Qianhai Equity Investment Fund, which is backed by the local government in southern China’s Shenzhen city, also participated in the round, Before Capital said in a WeChat post on Wednesday (February 19).

The equity investment came as Baijia Food, which also offers Chinese dumplings, seasoning for Sichuan-style dishes and other instant food products, plans to launch a new brand, Hungry Panda, for consumers in the overseas market.

Driven by frenzied queues to buy instant noodles and tinned food since the coronavirus outbreak, the Chengdu-based company already had over 100 million yuan ($14 million) in sales since the beginning of February, according to the WeChat post.

The firm recorded 710 million yuan ($102 million) in total sales in 2019, up 100 per cent compared to the year before, said the company chairman Chen Zhaohui, cited by Chinese publication National Business Daily.

Chen said that the company targeted to book 1 billion yuan ($143 million) in 2020 sales and go public within the next three years. He did not disclose the potential venue of the listing.

Baijia Food currently delivers products to China, as well as about 20 countries including France, Britain, Australia, Japan, and the United States.

Proceeds of the new round will be used to improve production capacity, enhance marketing channels, and finance brand building.

Source Code Capital, BAI lead Series A+ round in Stori

Stori, a Mexican digital bank co-founded by Chinese entrepreneur Chen Bin, has raised $10 million in a Series A+ round of financing jointly led by Chinese venture capital firm Source Code Capital, and Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), the investment platform of global media mogul Bertelsmann.

Chinese venture capital company Vision Plus Capital participated in the investment, Source Code Capital said in a WeChat post on Wednesday (February 19).

The Series A+ round, which took the total capital raised by Stori to over $17 million, will enable the startup to strengthen its big data and AI platform, recruit more talent, and serve 100,000 customers in Mexico.

Founded in 2018, Stori offers customers credit cards and builds their personal financial records. The company aims to provide inclusive financial services in Latin America with a focus on Mexico, where about 40 per cent of the nearly 130 million population have bank accounts and less than 15 per cent of consumers have access to lending provided by banks. But 72 per cent of consumers in the country are already using a smartphone to live a digital life.

“Our mission is to build a leading digital bank in Latin America, starting with Mexico, that drives financial inclusion with technology. Our technology and products will enable average Mexicans to access quality banking products and write their own financial story,” said Stori’s Mexico co-founders, Marlene Garayzar and Manuel Medina, in a company statement.

Source Code Capital, established in 2014, primarily backs early and growth-stage startups in the TMT field. With about $2 billion under management, the company has made investments in nearly 150 companies including Chinese on-demand service provider Meituan-Dianping, real estate brokerage platform Homelink, and ByteDance, the parent company of video-sharing service TikTok.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.