(Yicai Global) April 23 -- Luckin Coffee, the Chinese coffee chain going all out to supplant Starbucks in China, has filed for an initial public offering in the US after having racked up a loss of about CNY2.7 billion (USD402 million) over the three years since it was founded.
The Xiamen-based startup aims to list on Nasdaq under the stock ticker LK, according to papers filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.
The move comes just days after the firm, which recently resorted to pledging its own brewing machines as loan collateral, said it had secured USD150 million from investors that included USD125 million from BlackRock. The extra funding valued the company at USD2.9 billion.
Luckin Coffee has burned through cash in a dash for growth. After Starbucks, it is China's largest and fastest-growing coffee network by number of stores and cups of coffee sold, per a report by Texas-based market researcher Frost & Sullivan.
First-quarter revenue was CNY480 million (USD71.5 million), roughly half the CNY840 million in 2018. Of that, freshly brewed beverages made up the highest proportion at 75.4 percent. In the first quarter, it lost CNY552 million, after shedding CNY1.6 billion last year.
The company had expanded to 2,370 stores in 28 cities across China within 18 months as of March 31, with over 16.8 million customers, whose repurchase rate was over 54 percent last year, its regulatory filing showed. That puts it within sight of its goal of leapfrogging its Seattle-based rival, the Financial Times reported.
Editor: Ben Armour