Deals | How to Enter A Niche Market with Full Industry Chain Thinking? Google China’s 2rd Employee Shows with His Craft Beer Startup Beer Geek

Production + sales + circulation + vertical media = trade circle of craft beer industry chain.

Photo by Robert Mathews on Unsplash

Kr-Asia is all about actionable insights for entrepreneurs. And through this post, you’re about to find out:

What is a full industry chain?

What benefit can entrepreneurs get out of a full business chain?

Writer: Chen Shuya

Beer Geek (酒花), a craft beer industry chain company, has closed a tens of millions of yuan (approximately from $1.54 million to $15.27 million) series A+ funding round, led by IDG Capital, followed by KYMCO Capital, Tisiwi, and Qingyi Capital.

The proceeds will mainly support the construction of new brewery and new product R&D. Previously, the company raised ¥30 million (around $4.62 million) in a series A round led by Sinovation Ventures.

As industrial beer declines in sales, craft beer has come to seize the market in recent years, with mushrooming local brands and breweries. Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired KAIBA (开巴) and Boxing Cat Brewery ( 拳击猫) this year. Both are Chinese local craft beer brands.

Beer Geek is a full industry chain company engaged in various links including production, sales, distribution, and media. This has differentiated it from other craft beer brands.

Founded in 2015, Beer Geek is now with six subsidiaries: the brewery with a full set of craft beer licenses, “Dream Brewers” (its craft beer brand), sales company, community pub, vertical APP, cross-border e-commerce platform and the bar food company.

According to Shen Kai, founder & CEO, only a few craft beer brands are operating their own breweries now, even the benefits are obvious: building product barrier, easier quality control, rich SKUs and better profit in the long run.

Shen said that Beer Geek has completed Phase I of its self-operated brewery, with an annual capacity of 1,500 metric tons. The Phase II is currently expanding, with an expected capacity of 3,000 metric tons.

It is learnt that “Dream Brewers” has launched 16 products so far. It has developed over 1,000 sales outlets across the country, including bars, diners, buffets, and supermarkets.

Beer Geek also introduced its vertical media “Beer Geek” APP, providing descriptions and reviews of craft beers and bars. According to Shen, “Beer Geek” has attracted more than 200,000 users.

In addition to the APP, “Beer Geek” also developed e-commerce business of craft beer overseas. It is learnt that the platform currently provides more than 2,500 products, contributing over ¥one million (around $154,280) revenue each month.

Also, Beer Geek is planning to build its IP flagship store and small pubs serving community residents as well. The company has opened four community pubs so far.

According to Shen, Beer Geek is growing rapidly with craft beer lovers. It seeks to serve more than 10 million customers in a few years.

According to the team, Beer Geek sold 500 metric tons craft beer in 2017, with an estimated revenue of ¥15 million (around $2.31 million). The company currently employs 100 people.

Born in a family of beer makers, Shen Kai, founder/CEO of Beer Geek and the second employee of Google China, has 12 years of experience in internet marketing.