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Filipino foodservice group JFC to take 10% stake in Botrista for $28m

Jollibee Food Corporation said gaining ‘strategic access’ to Botrista’s automated cold and iced beverage technology will create business synergies and support growth for its coffee and tea chains

Botrista holds more than 100 patents globally for its beverage station concept, DrinkBot | Photo credit: Botrista


Manila-based foodservice group Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC) is set to invest $28m for a 10% stake in US automated coffee and tea concept Botrista Inc. 

Founded in California in 2017, Botrista holds more than 100 patents globally for its beverage station concept, DrinkBot, which is designed for coffee shops, restaurants and hospitality businesses seeking to add bubble teas, smoothies, iced coffee and flavoured lemonades to their menus. 

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), JFC said the investment ‘is a strong fit’ to support its goal of growing its coffee and tea business. The deal could enable JFC to install Botrista machines across its network of 2,250 coffee and tea chain stores, which currently includes The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Highlands Coffee, Milksha and Common Man Coffee Roasters brands. 

JFC’s wholly owned subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. will be the lead investor, with funds coming from the business’ surplus cash.   

“Botrista is a game changer for the beverage industry. We are excited to invest in a company that creates excellent and innovative products enabling food service operators to deliver a world-class customer experience and providing a substantial runway for sustained growth. We look forward to Botrista’s rapid and asset-light distribution and channel expansion that will create more value to its partners and ultimately, the end consumers,” said Tony Tan Caktiong, Chairman, JFC. 

The investment will also support Botrista to scale its DrinkBot concept outside the US while boosting production capacity and ingredient supply chain development. 

“We are delighted to have JFC as a partner. Our team is committed to winning in the marketplace and this partnership will help us continue investing in our technology to scale more quickly and further improve our innovative capabilities. We look forward to creating more opportunities both for Botrista and JFC to accelerate growth and deliver exceptional value to our customers,” added Sean Hsu, CEO, Botrista. 

Botrista, which has offices in the US and Taiwan, previously raised $55m through two investment rounds. The California-based technology business expanded its operations to Canada and Australia in 2022. 

Cold and ices coffee sales growth is outpacing hot coffee in many markets around the world, including in the US where market leader Starbucks reports that up to 75% of beverage sales are cold. Flavoured cold coffee and tea ranges are also highly popular across East Asian markets. 

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