Vietnam’s urban food chain The KAfe becomes foreign-owned firm, CEO exits

Vietnamese entrepreneur Dao Chi Anh has exited her fusion food chain, The KAfe, a year after Hong Kong-based private equity firm Cassia Investments led a $5.5-million series A round into the company. The KAfe has now become a wholly foreign owned business from October 25.

In her social media page, Chi Anh wrote that she had resigned from the post of chief executive at The KAfe, three years after she started the urban food chain.

An email inquiry sent to The KAfe did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this article while Chi Anh declined to comment.

As per a revised business registration certificate seen by DEALSTREETASIA, The KAfe is wholly owned by foreign investors from October 25, with charter capital increasing significantly from VND16 billion ($0.7 million) to over VND244.8 billion ($11 million).

Founded in 2013 in Hanoi, The KAfe was initially backed by New Asia Partners. Dennis Nguyen, founder of the private equity fund, acted as chairman of the beverage company by the time Cassia Investments funded The KAfe in October last year.

DEALSTREETASIA could not ascertain the buyer(s) in the latest transaction.

Chi Anh, originally a cookbook author and TV cooking cast, told DEALSTREETASIA in an earlier interview that The KAfe was planning an overseas listing, preferably in Hong Kong or London, within two years. The drinks and food chain was then rapidly expanding with a dozen outlets in Hanoi and had proposed to open several stores in Ho Chi Minh City.

“On the business side, it was challenging for me to manage due diligence and fundraising related tasks while maintaining my hands-on leadership in business, keeping operations stable in existing outlets while setting up new ones,” she said in the interaction.

The KAfe owns three brands including The KAfe, The KAfe Village and The Burger Box. It acquired Mint Cupcake Creations earlier in 2016. It currently manages 15 stores.

Also read:

Cassia Investments leads $5.5m series A in Vietnamese cafe chain KAfe Group

Vietnamese fusion food chain KAfe Group in expansion mode, plans listings on HK, London bourses: CEO

Cassia-backed Vietnamese food startup The KAfe scoops up local cupcake chain

Restaurant chain Huy Vietnam plans HK listing in 2016