M Stand, an emerging Chinese coffee chain, has raised over 500 million RMB (US$77.3 million) in its Series B financing, jointly led by GenBridge Capital and BA Capital. The new fund will be mainly used to recruit talents, improve the supply chain system and digital platform, and accelerate the expansion of new stores nationwide.
Founded in 2017, the Shanghai-based coffee brand M Stand means “Mind Coffee”, focusing on the younger generation and providing better coffee and a more fashionable social space with a distinctive brand attitude and personality. In January 2021, M Stand has completed its Series A round financing of 100 million RMB (US$15.4 million) and reached a valuation of 700 million RMB (US$108.1 million). In the past few months, the brand has expanded in East and South China: from Shanghai to Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. By the end of this year, M Stand will reach 100 coffee stores, beginning operations in Beijing, Suzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Chengdu.
Unlike most coffee shops that emphasize coffee bean producing areas and coffee brewing technology, M Stand does not build brand recognition with traditional “boutique coffee”. Instead, the company occupies users’ memory points with its unique creative products and space design. At present, M Stand has more than 30 SKUs, including standardized regular products, such as Americano and Latte, and creative products with M Stand characteristics, such as fresh coconut iced coffee and oatmeal cookie Latte. The average drink costs about 40 to 50 RMB (US$6.17 to US$7.71), and creative products account for more than 50% of the sales.
M Stand stores are divided into two models. The first is the image store or flagship store with an area of about 100 square meters, which are mainly located in commercial shopping centers, and has an experiential consumption scene. The second is a boutique shop with an area of less than 50 square meters, which is mainly located near office buildings, providing drinking coffee and takeout services for white-collar workers. Different store models can meet the different needs of the daily coffee drinker.
M Stand also operates a bar business at the same time, adopting “coffee in daytime and bar at nighttime” to deepen the efficiency of its space use. “More than coffee” is the initial aspiration of M Stand. In the future, the brand will gradually create a retail space integrating coffee, restaurant, bar, and clothes.
Chinese coffee chain brands such as M Stand and Manner Coffee have been rising rapidly to challenge Starbucks’ market dominance in China. In our previous news, we have mentioned that Fruit coffee is getting popular in China. and Manner Coffee has completed three rounds of financing within the last 6 months.