According to PEDaily, several independent sources said that Chinese milk tea chain HeyTea is about to complete a new round of funding. At present, the amount of funding for this round has not been disclosed, though the company is currently valued at around $9.27 billion. HeyTea did not comment on the matter.
According to current information, institutions such as IDG Capital, Investor He Boquan, Meituan Dragon Ball Capital, Sequoia China, Black Ant Capital, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital and Coatue are believed to be in the running for financing this round of funding.
EqualOcean reported that HeyTea has completed four rounds of funding up to now.
In August 2016, HeyTea completed its first A round of more than 100 million yuan with IDG Capital as one of the investors. In April 2018, it received a B round of 400 million yuan with Meituan Dragon Ball Capital and Black Ant Capital as investors; In July 2019, HeyTea gained the B+ round of funding from Tencent Investment and Sequoia Capital China, though the specific amount was not disclosed.
HeyTea raised its most recent round of funding in March 2020, a C round of financing led by Hillhouse Capital China and Coatue Management. Some sources indicated the HeyTea was valued at about 16 billion yuan after its C round of funding, and as of early 2021, the valuation was said to be over 20 billion yuan. It seems that the valuation of HeyTea has soared by over 40 billion yuan in just six months.
In 2012, HeyTea was founded in an alleyway named Jiangbianli in Jiangmen in Guangdong Province. The innovative drink initiated a new era of tea-based drinks infused with the unique taste of cheese. The company’s founder, Nie Yunchen, born in 1991, is about to create the highest-valued brand for modern China teas. In one interview, Nie talks about how he often feels anxious and aware that he still has a lot to improve and work on, “Most of my days are spent thinking about the new things for the consumer and the latest products, like Heytea Go, which stemmed from a brainstorming session.”
In February 2021, the 2020 annual report showed that as of December 31, 2020, the company has opened almost 700 stores in 61 cities around the world. According to its latest public release, the number of stores of HeyTea has totaled more than 800.
HeyTea’s competitor, Nayuki’s Tea, is expected to be valued at more than HK $45 billion when it goes public Hong Kongon on June 30.
An investor close to HeyTea said the company would not file an IPO any time in the near future.