Jay-Z, Serena Williams back Kopi Kenangan’s Series A extension

Photo: Kopi Kenangan website

Indonesian grab-and-go coffee chain Kopi Kenangan has secured fresh funding from several investors, including Arrive, Serena Ventures, basketball player Caris LeVert, and Sweetgreen CEO and co-founder Jonathan Neman, in an extension to a previously announced $20 million Series A round.

Sequoia India, which led the Series A round in June, also participated in this additional investment, Kopi Kenangan said in a statement.

The fresh capital is set to further accelerate the growth of the Jakarta-based company, which claims to currently average an addition of one store per day, and now boasts over 200 stores nationally from only 16 stores a year ago.

Claiming to serve more than three million cups of beverages each month, Kopi Kenangan says that it is already profitable, with revenue growing 20 times from last year.

The company plans to add more than a thousand new stores over the next two years and expand across Southeast Asia.

“In just two years, they have expanded to 18 cities, 200 stores, and over 1,800 employees. We’re excited to be an investor in and partner to Kopi Kenangan as they introduce Indonesian-style coffee to the world,” said Arrive co-founder and president Neil Sirni.

Arrive is part of Roc Nation, a full-service management, music publishing, and entertainment company founded by rapper and producer JAY-Z. In Southeast Asia, it has invested in fashion marketplace Zilingo and mobility startup Beam, Tech in Asia had earlier reported.

“We want to build a legendary brand, and we’re excited to work with our new investors and advisors who have built global consumer franchises spanning sports, entertainment, F&B, and technology,” said Kopi Kenangan CEO Edward Tirtanata.

Kopi Kenangan is one of several grab-and-go coffee chains trying to capitalize on the rising trend and demand for grounded coffee beverages in a country which has the lowest coffee consumption per capita in the region, despite being the world’s fourth-largest coffee exporter.

In terms of its products, Kopi Kenangan claims to differentiate itself from competitors by taking on a classic Indonesian iced coffee recipe, using locally-sourced ingredients, such as organic palm sugar, which gives it a distinctly fresh taste and aroma. The company is also adding other Asian favourites to its menu, including Thai tea, bubble tea and even Teh Tarik (pulled tea), a local favourite tea served with sweet condensed milk.

Its rival VC-backed coffee chain is Fore Coffee, which is backed by are East Ventures, Agaeti VC, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV), and Insignia Ventures. The company, we have earlier reported, is seeking to raise fresh funding of $30 million to expand its presence in the country. Both local players also compete with established coffee chain brands such as Starbucks, which has a strong foothold in Indonesia.

In its release, Kopi Kenangan said that it has been named by Nielsen Company as the number one in top-of-mind awareness in the Kopi Susu or milk coffee category and second only after an established multinational coffee chain in the general coffee category.

Kopi Kenangan closed its seed funding round at $8 million in October 2018 from Indonesia’s Alpha JWC Ventures, which counts as one of the largest seed rounds raised by an Indonesian startup.

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.