On Feb. 26, the Chinese venture of Canadian coffee giant Tim Hortons completed its second round of financing, although the precise amount of new investment remains undisclosed.
The fresh capital came primarily from Sequoia China and Eastern Bell Capital, as well as the firm’s digital partner Tencent. Initiated last May, this strategic cooperation between the tech and coffee powerhouses was established in an effort to compete with Alibaba, which is currently working in tandem with Starbucks in order to streamline its delivery services.
Tim Hortons plans to implement the funds for store expansion, digital infrastructure, and branding. In 2021, the coffee and doughnut maker is seeking to open more than 200 new offline stores, including standard stores, coffee pick-up stations called ‘Tims Go’, and special theme stores. The brand will also stick its initial plan to open 1,500 cafes across the country in the next few years.
The financing round took place approximately two years after the company’s entry to the emerging Chinese coffee market. In February 2019, Tim Hortons made its debut in Shanghai then soon opened up to 50 stores by May 2020.
Furthermore, cooperation with Tencent’s popular messaging and mobile payment app WeChat has helped the company to gain three million members through a WeChat mini-program.
The company has also opened up a e-sports themed cafe in collaboration with Tencent, which also represents China’s biggest gaming tycoon.
“We are very happy to receive the investment from Sequoia China, Eastern Bell Capital, as well as Tencent. We look forward to working together in the future to tap the potential of Tim Hortons, while also jointly promoting the healthy development of China’s coffee ecosystem,” said Tim Hortons China CEO Yongchen Lu. “We have full confidence in the Chinese market and firmly believe that the rapid spread of coffee in China will bring huge market potential.”