Indonesian coffee chain Kopi Kenangan may hit unicorn status with Falcon Edge-led round

Photo: Kopi Kenangan website

Indonesia’s grab-and-go coffee chain Kopi Kenangan is in advanced talks with investors to raise about $100 million in its Series C round.

According to three different sources privy to the development, US alternative asset manager Falcon Edge Capital is likely to lead the round that could make the Jakarta-headquartered startup a near unicorn.

Kopi Kenangan’s existing investors including Sequoia Capital, GIC Pte and B Capital are also learnt to be participating in the round.

When contacted, Kopi Kenangan co-founder and CEO Edward Tirtanata declined to comment on the firm’s latest fundraising, calling it “rumours.” Meanwhile, an email sent to Falcon Edge Capital had not elicited a response at the time of publishing the story.

Incorporated in 2017 by Tirtanata and James Prananto, Kopi Kenangan is one of the fastest-growing coffee brands in Indonesia with over 500 stores in 34 cities. The startup targets to have 700 outlets by the end of this year, and 1,000 by the end of 2022.

Earlier this week, Falcon Edge Capital had led a $135 million Series B funding in India’s Mensa Brands, an acquirer of fashion, home and personal care labels, enabling the startup to hit the “unicorn” status in just six months after starting operations.

In a separate development, New York-based Falcon Edge Capital is also learnt to be investing about $200 million in a separate independent entity that is being launched by Indian online-to-offline eyewear retailer Lenskart. This Thrasio-style entity (called Lenskart Labs), is set to have a valuation of $1 billion and will focus on acquiring eyewear brands across European countries, and will be among the largest deals in the Indian D2C space.

According to DealStreetAsia DATA VANTAGE, Kopi Kenangan had a revenue of $22.08 million and a profit of $0.13 million in 2019.

Going forward, Kopi Kenangan plans to tap countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia as it carves out its expansion plans to enhance its regional play.

Even as the pandemic created an adverse impact on the F&B industry in the country, Kopi Kenangan’s strategy to diversify into new products over the years has helped it stay afloat and tide through the crisis, said experts tracking the company.

During an interview last week, Tirtanata told DealStreetAsia that the firm’s bottom line had returned to the pre-pandemic level from the second quarter of this year. This is even as the company was forced to shut down some of its outlets during the peak of the pandemic in 2020.

“We’ve reached our profitability in the second quarter this year after we had been struck by the pandemic. It’s driven by the increase of food delivery services and digital initiatives including our own app.”

Kopi Kenangan launched its food delivery and order app in 2019, which currently claims to have more than 1.8 million monthly active users.

Apart from the coffee chains, Kopi Kenangan operates a slew of F&B brands such as Chigo, Cerita Roti, and Kenangan Manis through which it sells fried chicken, bread, and cookies in the archipelago.

Kopi also runs two dine-in restaurants – Kenangan Heritage, a premium cafe offering different F&B products; and Rumah Kenangan, a dine-in café selling the same products the startup offers through its ‘grab and go’ outlets.

“The potential market for F&B is still big, and we want to complement our market with different segments,” Tirtanata had earlier told us.

Kopi Kenangan last raised $109 million in its Series B funding round led by existing investor Sequoia Capital. The round had also seen the participation of GIC, Sequoia Capital, Horizons Ventures, Verlinvest, and Alpha JWC Ventures.

So far, it has secured $124.53 million.

Coffee chains in Indonesia are increasingly evincing investor interest as the grab-and-go concept has seen acceptance among consumers over the years.

Kopi Kenangan’s competitor Jiwa Group has closed a $40 million round co-led by private equity firm Capsquare Asia Partners, and venture capital firm Openspace Ventures, DealStreetAsia had reported earlier.

Kopi Kenengan is not the only Indonesian firm that is set to hit unicorn status with its funding upcoming round. Last month, Indonesian fintech startup Ajaib had raised $153 million in a Series B financing led by DST Global, and the deal took its valuation past the $1 billion mark, making it the country’s latest unicorn.

We had recently reported that Indonesia’s Social Bella, known for its e-commerce brand Sociolla, was in talks to raise up to $150 million in a funding round that could value the omnichannel retailer of beauty products at over $1 billion.

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.