Chinese media outlet 36Kr reported on Thursday that Happycow Handmade, a dessert baking chain brand, has completed an A-round of financing worth nearly $10 million, with Shun Shunwei Capital as the exclusive investor and Index Capital as the exclusive financial consultant. This round of funds will be mainly used for store development and an upgrade to the brand.
Founded in Hangzhou in 2013, Happycow Handmade aims at a new generation of young consumers to launch desserts, cupcakes, handmade loaves, snacks, seasonal beverages and other products. The company also offers customization for afternoon teas, wedding dessert bars, and cakes for enterprise functions as well.
Founder Deng Zhouhong graduated from the famous culinary institute in France and studied with many dessert masters. The company has its own core research and development team, which not only incorporates current elements into its products, but also makes special products for Mid-Autumn Festival, Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day and other festivals. To refine their products and operations, the company often tests flavors and textures according to factors such as weather and season.
At present, there are 80-100 stock keeping units (SKU) in the company. On the basis of adjusting and innovating original products, 150-200 SKUs can be added every year and more than 20 SKUs can be added every month. The average per customer transaction is around 60 yuan ($9.47), and the repeat purchase rate is about 76%.
The company has opened 30 stores in Hangzhou. Deng Zhouhong spoke about the company’s expansion, saying, “A standard store of about 80 square meters only needs 6 employees, so that the store model will be lighter.” Starting from the third quarter of this year, the company plans to enter Suzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai and other places, and may consider deployment throughout the entire country by the end of the year.
From online channels, in addition to the company’s WeChat mini program, the company has successively opened a Taobao shop, Tmall store, Tik Tok shop, and accounts on Ele.me, Meituan and other delivery platforms. Today, the company has more than 930,000 members from all channels it entered in.