China’s Luckin Coffee raises $200m in GIC-backed round, now valued at $1b

Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

China’s Luckin Coffee, which has been expanding aggressively and touting itself as a local rival to Starbucks Corp, said on Wednesday it has raised $200 million in a fundraising round that values the on-demand coffee delivery startup at $1 billion.

Investors in the fundraising round included Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Luckin said in a statement.

Luckin, which started operations this year, says it has already opened 525 stores in 13 cities across China as of May, and has been pushing hard to win consumers to its stores and via online delivery with low prices and fast delivery times.

“The funds we raised will be used for product research, technology innovation and business development,” Luckin CEO Qian Zhiya said in the statement.

The Chinese coffee startup – which does a strong business selling and delivering coffee online – has been training its sights on its far larger rival Starbucks, even as the US chain has seen a sudden slowdown in its China growth.

Starbucks, which has over 3,000 stores in China, has said same-store sales would be flat to slightly negative in its second-biggest market in April-June. It is now looking to bolster its online delivery business in China.

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Reuters

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.