Cheese Tea Brand HeyTea Rumored to Have Raised New Funds at a Valuation of RMB 16B

Cheese tea chain HeyTea is rumored to have completed a new round of financing led by Hillhouse Capital and Coatue with its post-investment valuation possibly exceeding 16 billion yuan, the Chinese tech media outlet 36Kr learned from multiple independent sources. The company declined to comment.

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The completion of this transaction could mean a big leap in valuation for HeyTea. Last summer, the company raised funds from Tencent and Sequoia Capital at a valuation of 9 billion yuan. If the rumors of the current financing round prove to be true, HeyTea’s valuation will nearly double.

While operating a chain of retail stores and an O2O service through its app and mini-programs, HeyTea is not a typical TMT company as its investor lineup is comprised of tech industry royalty. Hillhouse Capital, Tencent, Meituan Dianping, Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital, and well-known investor He Boquan have all at one time invested in the company.

The pace of HeyTea’s valuation growth seems to be matching that of its business expansion. According to official operating data, the company opened 390 stores in 43 cities in 2019, compared with 163 in 2018. At the same time, the HeyTea app added 15.82 million users throughout the year, with the total number of users reaching 21.5 million.