| China

SeeSaw Coffee secures 100m yuan ($15m) investment to support growth

Chinese specialty coffee chain SeeSaw secures 100m yaun ($15m) investment led by tea shop brand HeyTea, and existing shareholder Hony Pak Fook

SeeSaw Coffee store in Shanghai, China | Photo credit: SeeSaw Coffee

Chinese boutique coffee chain SeeSaw Coffee has received 100m yuan ($15m) to grow its business in China. According to reports in Chinese media, the new funds will be used for national store expansion, and improvements to supply chains and digital infrastructure.  


The funding was led by tea shop brand HeyTea and existing shareholder Hony Pak Fook. Founded in 2012, HeyTea operates more than 30 stores across China. It is reportedly the first time the tea brand has invested in a coffee business. 


SeeSaw Coffee is a boutique coffee brand with 35 stores in China across Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Suzhou. Founded in Shanghai in 2012, SeeSaw has found success in introducing Chinese consumers to specialty coffee and sources domestically-grown varieties from China’s Yunnan province.  


Traditionally a tea-drinking nation, coffee is now big business in China. The new investment is testament to the growing popularity of the premium coffee and café experiences among Chinese consumers.  


China is also an increasingly important growth market for international coffee chains and is now Starbucks’ second-largest market outside of the US. 


World Coffee Portal data shows branded coffee chain outlet growth increased 5.1% East Asian market in 2020. China is the second largest market in the region behind South Korea and grew 2.1% by outlets over the period, despite significant Covid-19 trading disruption.  

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