A Husband-and-Wife Team is Now Worth USD$2.2 Billion Due to Their Bubble Tea Empire

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To many, this may sound like the ultimate dream. 

To carve a name for oneself in… sugary milk tea and chewy tapioca pearls? 

Well, that’s exactly what this couple has achieved with their bubble tea empire that’s now worth USD$3.8 billion. 

However, like most antagonists of rags-to-riches tales, the booming bubble tea business had its roots in humble beginnings. 

Here’s all the (bubble) tea that you need to know. 

A Husband-and-Wife Team is Now Worth USD$2.2 Billion Due to Their Bubble Tea Empire

Peng Xin and her husband Zhao Lin, founders of Nayuki Holdings Ltd, had pledged their house as collateral for a bank loan in order to kickstart their bubble tea business back in 2014. 

The two had met each other and got married in Shenzhen. They now own around 28% of Nayuki, with their stakes in the business worth around USD$1.1 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

According to Peng, an executive director and the general manager of the company, “We spent almost two years testing our drinks on the street before opening our first store.”

Before starting the bubble tea business, Peng had been working as a deputy secretary general for a software company. 

Zhao, the chairman of Nayuki, had worked at several food companies, including Burger King’s Shenzhen unit. 

The bubble tea business raised around USD$656 million in its IPO, and was responsible for around 19% of the premium modern tea cafe market by total retail consumption in 2020—the second-largest share. 

The vast majority of Nayuki’s outlets are located in mainland China, in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, which basically refer to developed urban areas. 

They also have one store in Hong Kong and another in Japan.

The company is planning to open 300 more branches this year and another 350 in 2022. 

Most of the outlets will fall under a new store format called Nayuki PRO, which also offers coffee and other bakery items to attract office workers. 

In order to attract younger consumers, the company has been releasing a new drink every single week since last year. Talk about productivity and innovation. 


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According to Peng, Nayuki derives the majority of its sales online due to changes in consumption habits brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The company revealed revenue of around USD$480 million in 2020. 

Peng shared that the company is working on reducing costs and enhancing efficiency, such as automating labour-intensive operations like cutting fruits and kneading dough.

Featured Image: Facebook (Nayuki 奈雪の茶)


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