Singapore’s Flash Coffee raises $15m Series A led by White Star Capital

Photo: Flash Coffee

Singapore-based grab-and-go coffee chain Flash Coffee on Wednesday announced it has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by White Star Capital.

The round was joined by Delivery Hero-backed DX Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Conny & Co. The Series A round takes the total capital raised by the Rocket Internet-backed firm to $20 million. 

Flash Coffee offers traditional coffee and signature drinks such as Avo Latte, Nutella Latte, and Lychee Espresso Soda to users through its app and food delivery platforms. It seeks to differentiate itself by offering a menu curated by international and Indonesian latte champions at affordable prices.

The company said it will use the fresh funding to expand in 10 markets across the Asia Pacific, including new markets such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. It targets to launch 300 additional stores this year. 

Launched in January 2020 by former Foodpanda CMO David Brunier and Bain Consulting alum Sebastian Hannecker, Flash Coffee operates 50 locations across Singapore, Thailand, and  Indonesia.

“Our dream is to have a Flash Coffee every 500 meters in all major Asian cities,” said Brunier. “Strong investor support for our Series A round enables us to harness untapped potential in the region and replicate our success in seven new markets this year: Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.”

The company, which claims to be profitable across the majority of its stores, also plans to build its regional headquarters in Singapore and expand its regional tech hub in Jakarta. 

“We believe that the brand’s tech-enabled approach will drive its ability to provide high-quality coffee and service at excellent value to address an underserved demand for affordable premium coffee in these rapidly expanding Asian markets,” said White Star Capital founder and managing partner Eric Martineau-Fortin in a statement.

Other prominent coffee startups in Southeast Asia include Sequoia-backed Kopi Kenangan, which has raised over $130 million in total funding, and Fore Coffee, which counts East Ventures among its investors.

Conservative approach in the face of COVID-19 

Last year, the company had paused operations at its Jakarta outlets after Indonesia enforced social distancing restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The startup said it continued to march ahead with its overseas expansion during the pandemic.

“In general, we have reduced our burn significantly during COVID – also to make sure our teams’ jobs are secure and fully compensated. Simultaneously, we are trying to take advantage of the situation and are actively signing additional real estate and recruiting great new profiles opportunistically,” said Bruiner.

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.