Singapore-based Flash Coffee, a tech-enabled coffee chain backed by Rocket Internet, announced today that it has raised US$15 million in Series A financing, led by White Star Capital.
The round was also joined by prominent investors, including Delivery Hero-backed DX Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Conny & Co.
With this round, Flash Coffee’s total capital raised to date has touched US$20 million.
The latest financing will be used to expand the brand in 10 markets across APAC, which saw the emergence of the likes of Indonesian chains Kopi Kenangan and Fore Coffee.
Flash Coffee was co-founded by David Brunier (CEO) and Sebastian Hannecker (COO & CFO). Brunier was previously foodpanda CMO, whereas Hannecker worked for Bain Consulting before turning entrepreneur.
Launched in January 2020, Flash Coffee claims it serves a menu of high-quality drinks at affordable prices. Customers can use its mobile app to order and pay online, choosing to pick up orders from its yellow storefronts, or order for delivery through major platforms in each market.
The app boasts of a streamlined pick-up feature, loyalty programme, personalised promotions and interactive challenges.
According to the startup, its unique coffee menu curated by World Latte Art Champion Arnon Thitiprasert sets it apart from conventional cafes and quick service brands. All drinks are prepared with premium ingredients and 100 per cent Arabica coffee beans. Its signature drinks include Avo Latte, Nutella Latte and Lychee Espresso, to name a few.
Flash Coffee now operates in 50 locations across Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, with majority of its stores already achieving profitability. It plans to open 300 new stores across the region by end of this year.
“Our dream is to have a Flash Coffee every 500 metres in all major Asian cities,” said Brunier. “Strong investor support for our Series A round enables us to harness untapped potential in the region and replicate our success in seven new markets this year: Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.”
“We will also build a regional HQ in Singapore and expand our regional tech hub in Jakarta to 50 people to support our vision of fully leveraging technology to improve customer experience, proactively drive growth and significantly increase operational efficiency,” he shared.
Eric Martineau-Fortin, founder and Managing Partner at White Star Capital, added: “We believe that the brand’s tech- enabled approach will drive its ability to provide high quality coffee and service at excellent value to address an underserved demand for affordable premium coffee in these rapidly expanding Asian markets.”
The Southeast Asian coffee chain market is fairly overcrowded with Kopi Kenangan and Fore Coffee being the dominant players. While Flash Coffee with a slew of high-profile backers has made its intention very clear, it will be an uphill task for it to take on the local behemoths and find a place in the market.
Kopi Kenangan, which entered the market at least three years before Flash Coffee did, raised a massive US$109 million in Series B led by Sequoia Capital in March 2020. It already operates 426 outlets in 26 cities, with plans to further expand its business. Fore Coffee — backed by East Ventures, SMDV and Pavilion Capital — is also a serious player and is ambitious to expand locally in Indonesia.
Who is going to be the ultimate winner?
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