Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons has secured a heavyweight companion to additional its China enlargement. The firm introduced on its social media account (in Chinese) on Tuesday that it has landed funding from Tencent, the Chinese social networking and gaming big, with out disclosing the dimensions of the proceeds.
Tim Hortons didn’t instantly reply to TechCrunch’s request for remark. A spokesperson for Tencent declined to touch upon the funding.
The 55-year-old Canadian espresso chain entered China in February 2019. With Alibaba already tapped by Starbucks, its archrival Tencent grew to become an apparent ally for Tim Hortons. The espresso agency mentioned the contemporary capital will go in direction of organising digital infrastructure, resembling a WeChat-based mini app, and opening extra storefronts. It at present counts about 50 places in China, most of that are in Shanghai, and goals to succeed in 1,500 shops with out specifying a deadline for the plan.
Investors and companies have lately been jostling to transform a nation of tea drinkers into espresso shoppers by merging on-line and offline retail. Starbucks palled up with Alibaba on a sequence of “new retail” efforts, which embrace shared membership perks between the 2, supply carried out by Alibaba’s Ele.me, voice ordering, and a distribution partnership with Alibaba’s omnichannel grocery store Hema. Coffee upstart Luckin, which is just lately ensnarled in an accounting scandal, was digital from day one and focuses on app orders and 30-minute supply.