(Yicai Global) July 14 -- Heytea has raised USD500 million from its latest funding round, lifting the Chinese milk tea brand’s market value to CNY60 billion (USD9.3 billion), the National Business Daily reported today.
The valuation after the Series D fundraiser marks a record for the sector, the NBD reported, citing data from corporate information platform Qixin. Shenzhen-based Heytea declined to comment, it added.
The main investors were BA Capital, Tencent Holdings, Sequoia China, Hillhouse Capital, Temasek Holdings, L Catterton, and Solareast, the report said.
Heytea had opened 695 tea shops in 61 cities at home and abroad as of February, according to its latest annual report. Based on that, each shop is worth more than CNY86 million (USD13.3 million).
Annual sales reached CNY3.6 billion (USD558 million) in 2019, and the company had a 25.5 percent share of the high-end market as of last December, according to a report from Huaxi Securities.
Rival and Hong Kong-listed Nayuki has more than 560 outlets in 70 cities at home and abroad. According to Huaxi Securities, Nayuki has a 17.7 percent share of the same market.
Heytea has long had a strong reputation in the capital market. In its Series C round of financing in 2019, market reports said that investors who could squeeze in were sure to profit. The company has now completed five financing rounds in five years.
Food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng said there are two reasons for Heytea’s high valuation. First, as China resumed work and production in the shortest time after the epidemic, global capital has been flooding into China, boosting investment in some areas. Second, new-style tea drinks are popular with young customers.
Compared with Nayuki, Heytea is not rushing to go public. When Nayuki submitted its prospectus earlier this year, Heytea founder Nie Yunchen said on social media that the company had no plans for an initial public offering.
Editor: Tom Litting