Established in 2015, HEYTEA can trace its origins to a small teashop in the city of Jiangmen in Guangdong province. Best known for popularising cheese-foamed tea, HEYTEA targets Gen Z and Millennials – two groups with spending power. In its annual report for 2020, the Shenzhen-headquartered company said that its customers spent Rmb52-56 per purchase in 2020. HEYTEA also keeps its customers interested with regular launches of new products. Last year alone it introduced 43 new drinks, meaning that it came up with a new product just about every week.
To fire growth HEYTEA has diversified into the lower-end market with cheaper teas under the Mini HEYTEA brand, as well as selling soft drinks under its own label at supermarkets, convenience stores and e-tailers. While most of its outlets are developed as sit-down venues with trendy design, HEYTEA also offers delivery and pick-up services through its GO kiosks. As of the end of 2020, it operated 690 stores in 58 cities across China (nearly half were added last year).
HEYTEA saw its valuation surge by 80% to Rmb16 billion following its Series C financing in March 2020. In June this year it was said to be discussing another fundraising round at a valuation of just over $9 billion, another huge increase over the previous 14 months.
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