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Reborn Coffee secures $1m from South Korean investor

Reborn Coffee says Walking Slow Entertainment CEO Scott Lee will bring an innovative approach to ‘infusing’ K-pop culture into the coffee chain as it seeks growth in South Korea

Reborn Coffee currently operates 14 stores in California and a single site in Malaysia | Photo credit: Reborn Coffee


California-based Reborn Coffee has secured $1m investment from Walking Slow Entertainment CEO Scott Lee to support its domestic and international expansion plans and launch new products. 

Reborn Coffee currently operates 14 stores in California and a single site in Malaysia. The business has agreements in place to open stores in the UAE and South Korea – where it owns a coffee shop and 2,000sq roastery and R&D facility in Daejeon. 

The specialty coffee roaster and café chain applied to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) in December 2022 to launch a franchise programme and open outlets across South Korea’s major cities. 

Reborn Coffee credited Lee’s impressive track record of managing KOSDAQ-listed companies in South Korea and said he has a ‘forward-thinking vision that seeks to intertwine the coffee lifestyle with K-pop culture’. 

“This investment marks another inflection point for our company as we continue to establish Reborn as a leader in the coffee industry. We believe Scott’s innovative approach to infuse Reborn Coffee with the universal appeal of K-pop to enhance the coffee-drinking experience and establish a unique cultural phenomenon in the industry is unparalleled,” said Jay Kim, CEO, Reborn Coffee. 

K Pop collaborations are big business in South Korea, where the genre is hugely popular and has garnered a sizeable international following. In July 2023, Starbucks collaborated with South Korean group Blackpink on a themed frappuccino product and limited-edition merchandise range across nine Asia Pacific markets that reportedly sold out within three hours of launching online. 

In December 2023, South Korea's Compose Coffee unveiled BTS singer V as its new brand ambassador. The Busan-based coffee chain reported membership of its app increasing by more than 30% in the days following V’s first advertisement campaign, while sales of his favourite beverage, Yuja Tea’, surged 72%. 

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