ofo founder Dai Wei’s second venture in the United States is in trouble: the capital chain is blocked, and the expansion is completely stalled

ofo founder Dai Wei’s American Coffee business, About Time Coffee, has recently attracted hot media discussion at home and abroad. According to a Bloomberg report, About Time Coffee’s coffee brand has closed four stores in New York since February this year. She quickly became an “Internet celebrity” on TikTok and Instagram.

However, interface news Erzi learned from multiple independent sources that About Time Coffee’s current operation has fallen into adversity, the capital chain has hit a bottleneck, and the entire name is close to the edge of the camp. A person close to the purpose informed Erzi, at present About Time Coffee in New York has begun to close the store, “the name of the initial strategy is very clear, that is, spread in the East coast of the United States with a high density of teeth and megacity structure, now in addition to New York, other metropolitan store events simply can not pull, the entire East United States site has stopped.” The insider performance. Another informed person close to Dai Wei proved to Erzi that the expansion planning of the entire About Time Coffee chain stores has been thoroughly run, and the operation of the original stores is also in a stop, with a simpler operation as the pillar, and the internal members are looking around.

“Offline Coffee shops are very expensive, and About Time Coffee is likely to break the capital chain again.” A familiar with Dai Wei before the purpose of VC people did not analyze.

When Erzi asked About the operation of About Time Coffee stores on the Internet, he found that there were two focus stores in New York in the last two months, and according to the hot criticism on the review website, the flagship store of about time located on Fifth Avenue in New York has been running business for several months. Previously, in order to absorb the flow of people, About Time Coffee’s New York stores were mostly located in Manhattan, the most densely populated area.

On May 17, Bloomberg first reported the latest status of Dai Wei, who has been out of the public eye for several years.

According to Bloomberg News, Dai Wei has since returned to the United States, where he first started a stationary power rental company in Seattle, and then joined About Time Coffee in New York. It is reported that Dai Wei has raised more than $10 million in capital for About Time Coffee from several VCS such as IDG, ZhenFund and Vihunt Resources, and the project is currently valued at $40 million. In addition, Dai Wei is a minority shareholder in the current company, the company’s CEO is a Marian Chen Mies, she claimed that Dai Wei does not participate in the day-to-day operations of the company, is behind the “accumulator”, assistant formed the team and dominated the meetings with investors.

Since then, the news of Dai Wei’s second career in the United States has been rapidly fermented. In the past two years, due to the legacy achievements of ofo operators, “old good” and “ofo yellow car refund difficult” have been the central vocabulary of Dai Wei. In that year, under the influence of resources, ofo rapidly expanded, and the scenery was unlimited, but at the end of 2017, it was exposed that there was no capital chain break and the user deposit was called; At the end of 2018, tens of millions of online and offline users lined up to wait for more than 1 billion yuan deposit repayment; In July 2020, ofo headquarters people went to the building, and the collection channel was difficult to find; At present, ofo is still heavily in debt, and the number of online refund users is still more than 10 million, and the deposit range is at least 1 billion to be returned. According to Tian Eye check, Dai Wei has received a total of 40 consumption restriction orders, and the 6 ofo contact closed enterprises he is responsible for have not published 4, and he has also been listed by the court as the letter recipient (Lao Hao) and limited high consumption.

Under this setting, the criticism of Dai Wei “taking everyone’s deposit to maintain the business” has become a tributary reaction sound of the domestic social media to Dai Wei’s second maintenance. But in the United States, this year, the spread of About Time Coffee in the social media has been quite effective. At present, About Time Coffee operates three major social media platforms, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn. According to media statistics, About Time Coffee has accumulated 14,000 followers on Instagram, and the likes of each post are 50 times higher. #abouttimecoffee related videos on TikTok were also played 2.5 million times higher, and some of the high follower quality of the store blogger posted videos closed abouttime can get up to 4 million views, which is not bad for a new consumer brand.

“The coffee market in the United States is very large, but everyone needs to be very crowded, the request is very specific, the level of personalized customization is very high, and the situation of closing this wholesale coffee brand in the United States is much more difficult than expected,” A securities analyst who follows the coffee industry told Son that nearly half of American adults suffer from allergies, so they will have many complex requests for coffee, and it is difficult to compete without careful planning.

In terms of products, it can be found that About Time Coffee mainly hit cold brew, treasure coffee, taro coffee and other products. In terms of pricing, the unit price range is between $3 and $7, which is $1 cheaper than the average price of Starbucks, in fact, the most popular Boba taro coffee is priced at $3.95, which has also absorbed the foothold of many young New Yorkers.

“Although the price of $3 is cheap, it is really not up in New York as a coffee shop, in New York, the average price is 7-8 US dollars of fancy coffee can better survive, because the barista commission, room charge, advertising these costs are difficult to reduce.” The securities analyst performed.

At present, About Time Coffee has four stores in the New York area.


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