Briefing: Luckin Coffee seeks funds at up to $2 billion valuation

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Chinese upstart Luckin Coffee seeks funds to double valuation to $2 billion – Reuters

What happened: Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee is seeking new funding at a valuation of $1.5 billion to $2 billion, Reuters reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The size of the new round is between $100 million to $300 million, according to the sources. The report added that the upstart company is in early-stage discussions with investment banks regarding an overseas IPO.

Why it’s important: Launched in January this year, Luckin Coffee has already opened more than 1,400 cafes in 21 cities. Its quick growth is largely attributed to its highly subsidized marketing and tech-centric purchasing experience. Although involved in the coffee industry, the Starbucks rival is commonly recognized is an internet company because its breakneck growth model and marketing strategies that largely resemble Chinese internet startups. Capital plays a crucial role in fueling its land-grabbing battle against Starbucks and other players. Luckin has completed its $200 million Series A round at a $1 billion valuation in July.