China’s biggest live-streaming platform Douyu announced on Wednesday it raised $775 million after pricing its US initial public offering (IPO) at the low end of the indicated range.Why it’s important: The deal is so far the largest Chinese IPO in the US in 2019, eclipsing that of Luckin Coffee which raised $645 million, according to Reuters, citing market data.The Tencent-backed video game live-streaming platform in April filed its IPO application to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), following its largest Chinese competitor Huya, which listed in May last year.The company delayed its IPO roadshow in May amid the intensifying US-China trade war.Details: The Wuhan-based company sold American depositary shares (ADS) at $11.5 each, compared with a previously stated target of $11.5 to $14.0, said the company on Wednesday.The company’s market cap reached $3.73 billion after the pricing.
Beijing-based CloudMinds, an operator of cloud-based systems for intelligent robots, has filed to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange, joining a slew of Chinese tech companies seeking funding abroad despite efforts from the government to attract domestic listings.Why it matters: CloudMinds says it is the first in the world to commercialize a cloud-based robotics system in a rapidly growing market.Developments in cloud and robotics are critical to smart manufacturing, an important part of China’s initiative to become a global leader by 2025 in core technologies.The government is implementing financial reforms—of which its new STAR Market Nasdaq-style technology bourse in Shanghai is the centerpiece—in an effort to lure tech companies to list domestically and push forward this initiative.The US remains an attractive IPO destination for Chinese companies because of its maturity and liquidity relative to domestic capital markets, which have tightened as the country’s economy slows.CloudMinds joins China Starbucks challenger Luckin Coffee and cosmetic surgery platform So-Young in US IPOs this year.
Luckin Coffee has taken the wraps off a new tea drink brand dubbed Xiaolu Tea, meaning “Fawn Tea” in Chinese, joining Starbucks in expanding into country’s already crowded bubble tea market.The company wiill gradually roll out a range of tea-based beverages, including cheese tea and more traditional styles across its 3,000 stores spanning 40 cities from Thursday, Luckin said at a press conference on Monday in Beijing.Co-founder and Senior Vice President Guo Jinyi pointed out that coffee and tea drinks are the two most popular types of drinks among China’s young office worker segment and the move represents “a sound strategy for Luckin.”As always, the Xiamen-based coffee upstart plans to give out generous freebies and discounts to attract quick adopters for the brand.It’s worth noting that Yang’s Monday speech marked a rare public appearance for the controversial marketing figure who has been absent from the company’s corporate filings and press conferences after coming under scrutiny early this year over his previous imprisonment.Obviously, Luckin’s tea ambitions have been brewing for months since it already rolled out four fruity summer drinks, also named “Fawn Tea” in April.
Chinese coffee startup Luckin is planning on a new project focused on self-service coffee machines, which is expected to be a central part of the company’s expansion strategy, Chinese media reported.Branded as Luckin Coffee Express, the self-service machine is designed for public spaces like schools and office buildings.Users can locate the nearest coffee machine and place an order through the Luckin app.Drinks are ready 30 seconds after scanning the pick-up code.The company will launch a pilot program to test the project soon, according to media reports.Luckin declined to comment on the news when contacted by TechNode.
There’s no shortage of coffee shops in Jakarta: international chains like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf have long been present.And third-wave coffee shops like Tanamera and One Fifteenth, as well as homegrown brands offering local-style coffee such as Toko Kopi Tuku and Kopi Kenangan, have started to emerge in recent years.In August 2018, a new player called Fore Coffee joined the scene.Founded by Robin Boe and Elisa Suteja, the company has grown to 58 outlets across Greater Jakarta less than a year since its founding.In comparison, Starbucks opened its 364th store in Indonesia after operating in the country for 17 years.Unlike its established rivals, Fore’s secret ingredient is the “new retail” approach, which has invited comparisons to China’s Luckin Coffee.
As Luckin Coffee gets its start on the NASDAQ, there’s a conspicuous absence in its corporate filings and press conferences.Yang Fei, Luckin’s CMO and one of the key architects of Luckin’s hyper-growth, is missing in action.Yang is an unlikely star: in five years, he’s gone from prison to C-suite.Between 2013 and 2015, Yang was arrested, remanded, and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment (Chinese link) for violations of China’s advertising law.After his release, he served as the CMO of UCAR, a ride-hailing firm.There, Yang claims to have invented a set of growth hacking techniques which took UCAR from incubation to a $5.5 billion IPO on China’s NASDAQ equivalent in less than 18 months.
If you can’t see the YouTube player above, try watching here instead.While Luckin Coffee is projected to have the largest coffee network in China by the end of 2019 at its current rate of growth, the sustainability of its business model remains to be seen, said Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at AgencyChina.Frustrated by the lack of insights in English-language media coverage of the coffee startup, he decided write a series of articles analyzing the company’s business model.Norris regularly conducts in-depth market research to help domestic and foreign firms understand how China’s consumer and technology spaces are evolving.Having read the Chinese perspective on Luckin Coffee, he decided to bring the story to light.“I’d seen a lot of English-language press which just looked at the PR notes that the Luckin team had given them and were just playing exactly from that without doing any digging,” Norris said.
The following is an adapted translation of this article written by Li Meng and published by Sina Tech.Recently-IPO’d coffee startup Luckin Coffee has gotten a lot of media attention.As a Luckin senior executive recently said, “a lot of popular industries are worth doing over again with the internet.” That’s what the startup’s trying to do with coffee.Its rise has been astonishing: in just half a year, it surpassed Costa Coffee in terms of China outlets (12 years after entering the nation) – and right now, after three years in existence, it’s looking like it might beat Starbucks, which has been in China for 20 years.Support quality journalism and content.This content is exclusive to subscribers.
Stung by its fast-growing startup rival, Starbucks is now rolling out mobile ordering in China so that its customers can avoid queuing and having to talk to the cashier.Dubbed Starbucks Now, the China-only feature lets punters order drinks and food, pay cashlessly, get an estimated pickup time, and select a nearby store for pickup.On arrival at the store, the order will be ready and waiting.While Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong described the feature in a press release as “innovative,” the company is lagging behind its new rival, Luckin Coffee, which started doing this early 2018.China’s Luckin Coffee has highly automated stores with no cashiers – just one or two baristas plus a crew of deliverymen.All ordering is done within Luckin’s app.
This week, the Equity duo of Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm convened to get some quick hits in about Slack’s WORK, Luckin Coffee and Sam Altman’s departure from Y Combinator.They then dug a bit deeper into the money around food: DoorDash and Sun Basket both raised this week.And finally, TransferWise illustrates how not to IPO.In all of this, they considered a world without the word “unicorn” as it relates to billion-dollar valuations — before admitting they are probably responsible for a good amount of its use.Alex: So I think that the real unicorns now are companies that are growing, and are profitable, while also been worth over a billion dollars.And that makes them actually as rare as unicorn should be, in my view.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.We’re back to our old, weekly cadence.Which is all well and good but after a run of doubling up episodes to keep up with the news cycle, showing up just every seven days nearly feels like vacation.But hey, we’re here for you (you follow us both on Twitter, right?).There was a lot to go over, so please enjoy the following:An IPO update: First up we checked in on our favorite children, the recently public.
Shares of Luckin Coffee jumped 20 percent in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq stock market.After opening at $17.00, shares of the Chinese Starbucks competitor climbed as high as $25.96, or more than 50 percent, before settling back down to $20.38 at the market’s close.The company has a market cap north of $5 billion after its first day of trading.The brick-and-mortar coffee chain has achieved major success in China by offering speedy delivery services to Chineses consumers.The company has nearly 2,400 stores but plans to more than double that number by the end of the year as it seeks to dethrone Starbucks as the country’s coffee king.Luckin’s success doesn’t immediately seem to be thwarting the stock market success of Starbucks, which has had a glowing 2019.