A look at Luckin Coffee's financials detail what we already knew: The company, just founded in 2017, is growing too fast for its own good. A pending IPO will only add to the mounting pressure of competing with Starbucks in its second largest market.
— Danni Santana
Luckin Coffee Inc., the ambitious Chinese startup that is taking on Starbucks Corp. as a more affordable option in the country, filed for an U.S. initial public offering and seeks to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker LK.
The Beijing-based company is said to plan to raise around $300 million in the IPO, Bloomberg News reported in February. Last week, the coffee unicorn raised $150 million from BlackRock and other investors at a valuation of $2.9 billion.
Since its inception in June 2017, Luckin has quickly expanded into 2,370 stores in 28 Chinese cities, with backing from investors including Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte and China International Capital Corp. By the end of this year, Luckin aims to become the largest coffee network in China in terms of number of stores.
Luckin, which said it may continue to see losses in the future, reported total revenue of $125.3 million in 2018, with a net loss of $241.3 million. Many customers are initially attracted to the coffee chain by its free vouchers, and the company said it expects to keep investing heavily in discounts and deals.
Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, CICC, and Haitong International are the underwriters.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.