T9 completed investment round - food tech news in Asia

T9, a Chinese boutique tea brand, has completed its Pre-A financing of tens of millions of RMB, invested by Edge Ventures, and Phonenixtree Capita,l served as the financial consultant. T9 has carried on the retail business model of high-quality tea for two years, with a net profit of 20% and a repurchase rate of more than 50%.

We can see that the Chinese tea industry has become increasingly diversified from traditional tea to tea bags and sugar-free tea drinks, adding new style tea drinks, such as bubble tea. For instance, we have mentioned that Boohee launched a functional tea brand with health tea sticks in our previous news. The diversity gives Chinese tea more possibilities for innovation. T9 has opened up the closed-loop from tea drinking to retail business, which is a new business model in China. T9 chose the third space + boutique new tea-drinking + boutique retail as the business environment for success.

In terms of retail, T9 established strategic cooperation with a 185-year-old tea factory in Germany to improve its tea quality by using a global supply chain. At present, T9 has more than 100 SKUs of retail tea, including daily self-drinking tea bags, ration tea, high-end customized tea as a gift for festivals, manor tea, and old tea as a collection item; the brand is covering various tea-drinking scenarios through a diversified product portfolio.

Boutique tea + third space is the upgrade of new tea. In terms of products, T9 uses tea leave extract instead of large barrel tea to better retain the taste and aroma of tea leaves. For example, the master product Earl Tea Latte with a repurchase rate of 70% is freshly extracted from earl grey tea with smooth Italian bergamot oil; the ingredients are blended with fresh milk and low-calorie rock sugar imported from Germany. As for the space of the store, it is designed as a widely recognized British afternoon tea style space, creating a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with a bright environment and thoughtful service.

T9 innovatively adopts the mode of new tea drinking to drive the retail business, which is also an opportunity for T9 to find its own differentiation. At present, the revenue of tea retail and tea-drinking sales in T9 stores accounts for about 6:4. Compared to Starbucks, the retail share is higher because tea is in higher demand than coffee for personal use and gifts in China. However, like Starbucks, T9 has established a memorable brand – a better boutique tea brand that becomes a social fashion symbol at luxury and trendy shopping centers.

Traditional tea brands are difficult to meet the needs of modern business groups, especially the lifestyle of young consumers. T9 satisfies young people’s demand for healthy, delicious, and tasteful tea. At the same time, it also provides pure tea and cold extracted tea, which is suitable for pure tea lovers.

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