(Yicai Global) March 24 -- Chinese teashop chain Heytea will be worth CNY16 billion (USD2.2 billion) once it closes its latest round of fundraising, according to tech news outlet 36Kr, marking a potential jab at a rival in the midst of planning an initial public offering.
Hillhouse Capital Group and US-based Coatue Management led the series for the Shenzhen-based startup, 36Kr reported yesterday, without disclosing how much the company raised in this round. Heytea has not yet responded to the report.
The new valuation is an 80 percent climb from July 2019, when tech giant Tencent Holdings and California's Sequoia Capital led a round of fundraising that took Heytea's valuation to CNY9 billion, according to a WeChat account called LatePost.
Teashops are a burgeoning trend in China as of late, and Heytea rival Nayuki Tea is currently planning a USD400 million IPO in the United States, according to a Bloomberg report published last month. If successful, the listing would be the first by a Chinese teashop chain.
Heytea is also facing competition from a spin-off of Luckin Coffee, the chain hoping to take on global giant Starbucks. Luckin began selling tea in April and spun off Luckin Tea as a separate brand in September. The coffee side of the business listed on the Nasdaq in May 2019, raising USD561 million.
Founded in 2012 and run by Shenzhen Meixixi Catering Management, Heytea had set up 390 outlets in 43 Chinese cities as of the end of last year to cater to rising demand for new types of teas. It opened 227 stores in 2019, while the number of users on its official miniapp Heytea Go nearly quadrupled to 21.5 million.
Editor: James Boynton