Saturnbird coffee - food tech news in Asia

The boutique coffee brand Saturnbird Coffee has completed a new round of financing of several hundred million RMB, led by CITI CPE, followed by IDG Capital, GGV Capital, and Insight Fund, with a valuation of 4.5 billion RMB (US$696.6 million). MM Capital continues serving as the exclusive financial consultant.

Founded in 2015, Changsha-based Saturnbird Coffee has seen strong growth since landing at Tmall in 2018 and reached immense success in just a few years, by becoming extremely popular among young consumers. The brand has consecutively secured several rounds of financing since 2018. The brand’s main products are small cups of freeze-dried instant coffee which can be easily melted in iced water or cold milk while keeping the taste of freshly brewed coffee. What Saturnbird wants to create is not only a little coffee pod that is easy to carry, but also to brings quality coffee within reach. The brand proposes “make a cup of really nice coffee in 3 seconds”, enabling people to enjoy a cup of coffee in any place, any time.

In January 2019, Santurnbird first obtained its Pre-A round of financing of 10 million RMB (US$1.58 million) led by FreesFund. In July 2019, the company has consecutively secured Series A and Series A+ financing, led by Tiantu Capital, followed by FreesFund. In March 2020, Santurnbird raised over 100 million RMB (US$15.48 million) in its Series B round, led by Sequoia Capital China with the participation of return backer FreesFund, with a valuation of 800 million RMB (US$123.84 million) at that time.  

The coffee market in China – “From a Tea Nation to a Coffee Superpower

During the “6.18” mid-year Shopping Festival of 2021, Santurnbird Coffee ranked first on Tmall in the coffee category. The sales performance in a single day reached nearly 40 million RMB (US$6.19 million), and the total sales during the Mid-year Shopping Festival are nearly 100 million RMB (US$15.48 million). Santurnbird’s sales in the first half of 2021 have exceeded that of the whole year of 2020 which was nearly 400 million RMB (US$61.92 million).

The new funds will be used mainly for upgrading brand content and to try the new sales channels. In August this year, Santurnbird will open the first offline concept store in Anfu Road, Shanghai. In early 2019, the first offline store, known as “demo store”, was opened in Changsha for a trial offline business. Shanghai has more coffee shops than any other city in the world. The total number of coffee shops exceeds that of New York, London, and other cities. For example, 90% of Manner’s stores are located in Shanghai. We have previously mentioned Manner when the brand secured new funding.

Wu Jun, the founder of Saturnbird, said that the company has moved its headquarters to Shanghai, the most competitive city for offline coffee shops. The offline channel is the carrier of brand communication and content, and also a new starting point for Saturnbird.

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