Maybank PE Leads Series D Funding For YPX Cayman Holdings.
PX Cayman Holdings Co., a leading quick service restaurant company headquartered in Shanghai, announced today the closing of its series D financing round of USD 25M. MAM PE Asia Fund I (Labuan) LLP, a fund managed by Maybank Private Equity Sdn Bhd , is the lead investor in the latest financing round, with follow-on investments from existing investors such as LionRock Capital, Ignition Capital, as well as renowned individual investors such as Mr. Koh Boon Hwee, former DBS Bank and Singapore Airlines Chairman, and Mr. Peter Tan, former President of McDonalds Greater China and ex-CEO of Burger King for Asia Pacific. Series D financing proceeds will be utilized to grow YPX directly-owned stores and to expand YPX’s franchising system.
“We are truly excited to have an investment from a fund seeded by Malayan Banking Berhad, or better known as Maybank. Maybank is one of South East Asia’s largest banks, and the largest in Malaysiaby market capitalisation. Named one of the Top 20 strongest banks in the world consecutively in 2013 & 2014 (by Bloomberg Markets Magazine July / August 2014), Maybank through its private equity arm has a very rigorous due diligence process, and we are honored to have passed their stringent test on our business and management. It is a very significant event for me and the Company to have the fund investing in us. Maybank PE brings a wealth of experience to help us grow our business,” says Chris Tay, CEO and founder of YPX Cayman Holdings.
Mr. Pneh Tee Keong, CEO of Maybank PE, says, “We are very pleased with this outcome. The upside for this segment in China is enormous, given the increasing middle class population. We are also comforted by the fact that we are investing in a sound business, and backing an experienced management team to help us navigate through the intricacies of operating in this market. We are very excited to be a part of what I believe will be a successful partnership with Chris, his team and all the other shareholders.”
With this fresh funding, YPX will be able to grow more stores via direct-owned operations as well as franchisees across China. The company will also allocate some proceeds for R&D to diversify its menu offering, brand awareness and information technology to support its future growth.
“Serving good quality, value for money food has been the hallmark of YPX since its inception. This year, we have continued to focus on improving our food quality and safety standards; we see this as an ongoing pursuit that will continue to underpin all that we do at YPX. 2014 is also our inaugural year for franchising, and we are very committed to being a responsible franchisor. We will set up a robust system to support and train our franchisees as they are in all ways business people and want a good return on their investments,” says Tay.
“In the past, franchising had an undesirable reputation in China, due to a laggard monitoring system and a mismatch of values between franchisors and franchisees. The industry was further tarnished by unethical practices by franchisors who emphasized short-term gains over creating a sustainable brand name. However things are changing, albeit slowly, and the market is maturing for the better; franchisees are more informed and educated than before. We want to be the first one to stand out as the most sought after and most responsible franchisor in China. Needless to say, this will not slow down our own corporate-owned stores. Not only will this positively add to our revenue growth, it will also provide support to our franchised stores. In addition to this, we are true believers in the use ofinformation technology in the F&B industry, when often times IT takes a back seat in our kind of business. So we will invest heavily on IT in the coming years. The hottest potential is that China is still urbanizing rapidly and its consumer market is going to be the largest in the world in the next few years, if it isn’t already,” adds Tay.
YPX’s first brand is Cloud9, a Taiwanese Fast Casual Restaurant chain, which currently has more than 40 stores in 12 cities. Founded in late 2010, Cloud9 was seed-funded by Qiming Venture Partners, well known for its highly successful investment in Xiaomi. Over the next year, YPX hopes to add two more brands, be it from the USA or another country that has good brand equity amongst Chinese consumers.
Tay says, “We will not add another brand for the sake of adding a brand. It has to have the same core values as the first brand: serving a majority of the Chinese customers with the best food at the most affordable pricing. We have strict principles that we adhere to when developing and nurturing a brand. We do not want to segregate any spectrum of the customers. We want brands that can understand the Chinese consumers’ needs and always staying relevant. And it has to be scalable at the same time. We have a solid management team and our reputation of being professional, reliable and accountable attracts many brands from overseas to want to work with us to expand inChina.”
On the topic of food safety, Tay adds, “food safety is of paramount concern in China. YPX will not compromise on food safety for the sake of growth as these two important objectives are not contradicting. We can do both. A high moral standard and superior transparent management culture are held in very high esteem in YPX.”
Mr. Daniel Tseung, MD of LionRock Capital, says, “We are delighted to have a Maybank associated fund as the lead investor in the latest Series D round and look forward to working with Maybank PE, other YPX shareholders, and the company management team in strengthening YPX leading position in the Quick Service Restaurant industry in China.”
Mr. Rich Tong of Ignition Partners says, “This latest investment shows that YPX is one of the best teams in the highly competitive food and beverage market. We congratulate them on this great milestone.”