Chinese yogurt brand Simple Love raises $122m for supply chain upgrade

Chinese yogurt brand Simple Love has completed its Series B funding round at 800 million yuan ($122.5 million) as the startup plans to invest all the new proceeds in the construction of its modern pasture to enhance supply chain strengths.

Existing investors Matrix Partners China, BA Capital, CITIC Agri Fund and Maison Capital re-upped in the new round.

Through the deal, Simple Love also roped in new investors including Sequoia Capital China, Yunfeng Capital, alternative investment manager Proterra Investment Partners and DCP Capital.

The Series B round came less than one year after the startup had secured 400 million yuan in a Series A round led by Matrix Partners China in May 2020. The investment from the previous deal also went to the development of its upstream supply chain.

Since its inception in 2015, Guangzhou-based Simple Love has developed a series of products including sugar-free yogurt, functional yogurt, also known as probiotic yogurt, and yogurt especially designed for children, among others. Its products are available in membership-only retailer Metro AG, e-commerce platforms like Alibaba’s Tmall, and premium supermarkets, such as supermarket chain brand China Resources Vanguard’s sub-brand Ole’.

While cooperating with milk suppliers like Greenfields, China Modern Dairy, and New Zealand’s Fonterra, Simple Love is building its first plant in northern China’s Hebei Province to produce additive-free, low-temperature dairy products. Its new plant, which will start operations this April, is expected to deliver products to over 100 cities largely in northern and eastern China.

Simple Love’s fundraising momentum grew alongside its sales volume despite adverse impacts on retail from the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm said that its annual sales volume increased by over 70% in 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of a staggering 109% for the recent five years.

The six-year-old startup is seeking to grab a share in China’s dairy market, which is projected to reach $176 billion by 2026, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.

Although the market keeps expanding amid the growth of China’s per capita income, long-standing domestic dairy majors such as Yili, Mengniu, Bright, and Sequoia China-backed Junlebao – all of which started their businesses around the late 1990s – could pose great challenges for its road ahead.

Besides yogurt products, Simple Love said it is also mulling to launch a fresh milk product line in 2021, further putting itself in direct competition with market incumbents.

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.