From the Wires
Taiwanese Quick Service Restaurant, YPX Cayman Completes Third Round of Financing
Company continues to build a large F&B platform with Series C funding
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 9, 2012 02:00 PM
SHANGHAI, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- YPX Cayman Holdings Co., Ltd. (http://www.ypxfood.com) announced today the closing of its third round of fundraising of US $ 11.5 million, which bring the total financing raised in the last two months to US $18 million. LionRock Capital served as the lead investor for the latest financing round, with follow-on investments from Qiming Venture Partners, and Ignition Capital. YPX has also recently received additional equity funding from Mitsui Global Ventures, Hotung Venture, and renowned entrepreneurs such as former DBS Bank and Singapore Airlines Chairman Mr. Koh Boon Hwee and Nasdaq-listed 51Job.com founders Mr. Norman Lui and Mr. Michael Feng Yunlei. In addition, YPX also secured a US $ 2.5 million venture debt financing from Western Technology Investment, a Silicon Valley based firm that financed Facebook and Google in their very early days. With this fresh funding, YPX Cayman will quickly open more stores within the Eastern and Northern parts of China; keeping close to its strategy of building a large fast casual food and beverage (F&B) chain platform.
YPX built its first store in Dec 2010, and ever since then, the Company has been growing rapidly. During this time, YPX has also invested heavily in its operational infrastructure, IT systems and human resources in order to achieve a sustainable and healthy growth. By end of 2012 YPX will have 30 Cloud 9 stores in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Changzhou, Hefei, Beijing and Tianjin. Key factors in being able to achieve this growth are due to YPX's simplicity in execution, scientific approach to menu engineering, and high quality of employee training. Over the next 2 years, YPX aims to open at least another 90 stores throughout China, and become one of the fastest growing quick service restaurant brands in China.
"With this new round of funding, YPX is now poised to take on a larger territory in China. Our goal is to open in territories that we never could have gotten into earlier. With the internal economy still growing and consumers are gravitating towards more value-for-money food fare, we want to take advantage of current tail wind. As we grow, we have to strengthen our infrastructure such as IT, Training, Product Development and hiring of more talents. No chain store business can grow profitably without a solid infrastructure and a good pool of talents. Ultimately, our objective is to provide good value food that is fresh, safe and tasty at a very affordable price proposition. There should be No Bad Meal each time you eat in Cloud 9. And that in turn will build a sustainable business that eventually will provide great returns to our investors and employees. Our focus is on our staff members. Each one is a family member and will be treated as such. We want to be known to be an employer of choice in China, one that provides the best salaries and benefits and also the best environment. In YPX, we award stock options to our employees, our staff members come first. Only then can they take very good care of our valued customers," said YPX Cayman Founder and Chief Executive Officer Chris Tay.
Mr. Daniel Tseung, Managing Director of LionRock Capital, said: "LionRock Capital is pleased to lead this latest round of financing for YPX. LionRock is impressed not only by YPX's rapid growth, but also by the company's talented senior management team, who each have over 20 years of experience in the Greater China food & beverage industry. With its excellent quality but highly affordable food offerings and increasing popularity with Chinese consumers, YPX is well-positioned to establish itself as a leader in the rapidly-growing Chinese F&B industry. Combined with financial support, LionRock Capital will also provide YPX with access to its extensive network of leading entrepreneurs who will assist in further accelerating YPX's strong rapid growth."
Mr. Hans Tung, Managing Partner of Qiming Venture Partners Beijing office and Vice Chairman of YPX Cayman, said: "We are the first investor who backed Chris and co-developed the concept of YPX from Day 1 and have invested in every round since. We believe in Chris and his team to build a "platform company" in a traditional restaurant business. I think YPX has a chance to accomplish something special and one that is disruptive in the F&B world, just as my other investments in Xiaomi has done for smartphone and VANCL for fashion apparel. Chris is an extraordinary entrepreneur and has recruited and built an incredible team."
John Zagula, MD of Ignition says, "With so much of China's future growth being led by consumers, we consider ourselves very privileged to invest in a team with the leadership, experience and operating philosophy needed to meet the growing demands of such consumers in their category. And we are doubly privileged to have been able to invest alongside such prestigious and strategically value-added investors."
Mr. Koh Boon Hwee, an angel investor from Singapore, and over the course of his career led many public and private companies, says: "China's domestic economy is transforming rapidly, and my investment in YPX Cayman gives me a ringside seat in witnessing the rise of domestic consumption in this huge country. I am confident that YPX Cayman will build out its network of restaurants with this new round of funding."
David Tso, Vice President of Hotung, says: "Hotung invested in YPX since 2011 and have made a follow-on investment this year as a vote of confidence. As China's QSR (quick service restaurant) / FCR (fast casual restaurant) market is huge, YPX will enjoy an amazing growth potential via its proven model for profitability and scalability in the years to come. We are very impressed by YPX's professional management system. And combined with a very experienced international and transparent management team, YPX has achieved all these in just 2 years; sort of a record. Looking forward, we are confident that YPX will catch up with its peers and become the market leader in the China QSR/FCR market."
Mr. Shunsuke Masaki, Head of Consumer Investment, Mitsui Global Investment, added: "By seeing rapid change of urban lifestyle in China, I am confident that the demand on high quality retail services will keep growing in the future. YPX's management team has already proved its ability to address such demand by delivering a number of innovations. This can't be done without its operational acumen and tireless efforts."
Maurice Werdegar, Managing Director of Western Technology Investment, says: "We are excited to be working with YPX. The team's proven ability to create value in the F&B market gave us confidence in the YPX concept and we look forward to helping them grow into a successful company."
About YPX Cayman Holdings Co., Ltd.
Founded in Shanghai in 2010, YPX Cayman focuses on the management of casual (F&B) chain in China. CLOUD 9, the company's first brand, mainly focuses on the Taiwanese casual F&B and snacks segment. The brand now has more than 30 stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Changzhou, Hefei etc., and continues to open new stores in China. The company's management team, with a combined of over 80 years of experience in the F&B chain management, continuously improves their standard and management level, valuing quality as their first goal. The company aims to establish a large platform in the casual F&B chain in China.
About LionRock Capital
LionRock Capital provides strategic, financial, and corporate governance support for growth stage companies in Greater China. LionRock is supported by some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs and family organizations, who also serve as valuable resources for LionRock's investee companies and investment partners.
LionRock seeks to build active, value-added, long-term relationships with company management teams and investors. LionRock's Managing Directors & Senior Advisors are internationally recognized leaders in business, investment, and corporate governance. LionRock's team of seasoned Asian professionals have a demonstrated track record of successfully helping management teams build & develop their businesses in Greater China and beyond."
About Qiming Venture Partners
With offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong as well as the Seattle, Qiming Venture Partners manages funds exceeding US$1 billion and is dedicated to investing in the high-growth promising enterprises in China. The company invested and successfully nurtured these companies to IPO: Jiayuan, ChinaCache, Taomee, Tiger Medical and Leo Pharmaceutical. It has investments also in category leaders like VANCL, Xiaomi Mobile, eHi Car Rental, Forgame, Jiayuan, PPS TV, Dianping, Mougujie, AllTech Medical, Gan & Lee Pharmaceutical, and Arrail Dental.
About Ignition Capital
Ignition Capital is the growth equity arm of a $2.5 billion global fund group which provides emerging industry leaders the investment and operations support to help them reach their long-term potential, in the technology, communications, consumer and healthcare sectors. Over the last 12 years, we've been honored to work with a broad array of companies that have become market leaders in technology, telecommunications, consumer services and healthcare. We have seen our companies deal with difficult economic situations, grow dramatically and either become public companies or get sold to larger market leaders.
About Mitsui Global Investment
Mitsui Global Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsui, focuses on investing in high growth enterprises worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, the company has set up offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Silicon Valley and New York and has built a network covering Japan, the US and China. With its global network and resources, Mitsui Global Investment helps its portfolios expand in overseas markets by providing them with strong cross-sector, cross-border support. Mitsui Global Investment's investments in China include iSoftStone, Prudent Energy and Ftuan.
About Hotung Venture Capital
Hotung Investment Holdings Ltd, a venture capital firm with operations in Taiwan, the US and China, was incorporated in March 1997 and has been listed on the Main Board of SGX-ST since August 1997. It is the first and only Taiwan venture capital firm listed on the Singapore Exchange.
About Mr. Koh Boon Hwee
Koh Boon Hwee, DUBC, holds a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, and an MBA (Distinction) from the Harvard Business School. He is also an alumnus of St Andrew's School.Koh was appointed Chairman of the Singapore Telecom Group in 1986 and then joined the Singapore Airlines board in March 2001.Among other board appointments, Koh served as Chairman of the SIA Engineering Company; a Director of Agilent Technologies Inc, [Four Soft Ltd] and Norelco UMS Holdings Limited; Executive Director of Media Ring Limited and Tech Group Asia Limited. He serves on the boards of several private companies, including Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited as a Director; AAC Acoustic Technologies Holdings Ltd and Infiniti Solutions Private Limited. He is also a Council Member of the Singapore Business Federation.
On 1 January 2006, Koh became chairman of DBS Bank. He joined DBS as a director on 15 June 2005. The list of Koh Boon Hwee's accomplishment goes on - his chairmanship of the Nanyang Technological University Council; aviation giant Singapore Airlines; and his appointment to the national Economic Committee in the recession of the 80s.
SOURCE YPX Cayman Holdings Co., Ltd
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