Luckin Coffee, China’s very own homegrown competitor to Starbucks has just filed with the SEC to go public on Nasdaq Stock Market. Being only 18 months old, this is a stunning achievement for the Chinese firm, which is valued at an amazing $2.9 billion. This news comes after barely a week after Luckin raised $150 million in a Series B plus round of funding led by the investment management behemoth BlackRock. Furthermore, it raised an awesome $200 million in a Series A last year, followed by another $200 million injection for its Series B.
What’s interesting is that BlackRock also owns a 7% stake in Starbucks and is now seemingly interested in building a portfolio in the coffee industry. Starbucks is now a near fifty-year-old company and has a massive global presence that is well established. It operates 3600 stores across 150 cities in China since its 20 years of operations in the country. But Luckin, on the other hand, has already grown to over 2000 stores across 22 cities in its short lifespan. What’s more is that Luckin has even disclosed plans to double the number of outlets in the near future.
The emerging Chinese giant leverages technology to run its stores. It operates its own mobile app which is used to order at its outlets. Additionally, Luckin has dedicated an amazing 231 outlets as its kitchens to cater to orders at offices, homes, etc.
Luckin Coffee’s rapid rise is nothing short of wondrous and it remains to be seen how Starbucks responds to the rising challenge.