BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Luckin Coffee Inc (O:LK) said it is expanding into vending machines that sell freshly brewed hot beverages and snacks, seeking even more of the China market after overtaking Starbucks Corp (O:SBUX) as the country's biggest coffee chain by number of stores.

Luckin founder and CEO Qian Zhiya said the new strategy allowed it to be asset-light and nimble.

"It allows us to get closer to consumers and we are not restricted by the license approvals," she said at an event to launch the new business.

Growing at breakneck speed by offering cheap delivery, online ordering and big discounts, Luckin also said it now has just over 4,500 stores across China - achieving a goal it set one year ago and topping Starbucks which has 4,100.

Luckin showcased two vending machines at the event - one featuring a Swiss Schaerer coffee machine that can make a variety of hot and iced drinks, as well as one offering a range of snacks.

Investors in the Nasdaq-listed startup, worth $8.4 billion, include Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and China International Capital Corp Ltd. By comparison, Starbucks has a market value of $104 billion.

Luckin made a net loss attributable to shareholders of about 532 million yuan ($76 million) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a 484.9 million yuan loss in the same period a year earlier. It has also said it is looking to expand overseas.

Other relevant articles 
[2019-12-31 18:10:04] A Decade In Commodities: Arabica Coffee Roasts The Competition In...
[2019-12-24 15:30:05] Coffee’s Surprise Rally Leaves Traders Guessing on 2020 Outlook
[2019-12-06 14:40:11] Coffee Update: Caffeine-Charge Your Portfolio Before 2019 Rings Out
[2019-12-03 03:20:27] Honduran coffee exports jump nearly 44% in November
[2019-11-19 17:40:29] What’s Brewing? Coffee At Four-Month Highs, That’s What
[2019-10-29 06:45:06] Vietnam Oct. Exports Unexpectedly Fall as Coffee Sales Drop
[2019-10-03 14:55:07] Starbucks Pays Farmers $20 Million More as Coffee Crisis Deepens
[2019-05-22 17:50:21] Luckin Coffee Sinks Midday, Falls Below IPO Price
[2019-05-22 17:25:22] Luckin Coffee Sinks Midday, Falls Below IPO Price
[2019-05-15 17:40:13] Beyond Meat surges after coffee chain Tim Hortons launches vegan...
[2019-05-01 22:20:21] Starbucks recalls coffee presses because of laceration hazard
[2019-04-22 19:20:33] Luckin Coffee files for U.S. IPO
[2019-04-11 17:45:14] Keurig Dr Pepper Falls Midday on Coffee Concerns
[2019-04-04 21:10:21] Exclusive: Brazil weighs offering coffee options to support...
[2019-03-14 13:20:12] Big Coffee Has a Problem as Craft Roasters Cut Out a Middleman
[2019-02-28 11:15:18] Starbucks China rival Luckin Coffee taps three banks for U.S. IPO: sources
[2019-02-24 22:50:29] Kraft Heinz hires banker to review possible sale of Maxwell House coffee...
[2019-02-13 17:00:37] Nestle set to sell first Starbucks coffee under $7.15 billion...
[2019-02-12 14:20:12] Coffee prices seen rising nearly 25 percent by year-end: Reuters poll
[2019-02-08 09:45:24] Starbucks unlikely to be overtaken in China by Luckin in 2019: CEO
[2019-02-01 20:25:23] Co-founder of Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons dies
[2019-01-23 17:05:28] Ugandan firm uses blockchain to trace coffee from farms to stores
[2019-01-10 04:15:19] Coffee producers seek urgent talks with industry on low prices
[2019-01-03 07:45:17] Chinese coffee startup Luckin plans to open 2,500 stores this...
[2018-11-18 18:20:24] Rio Tinto, Nespresso join forces to make coffee pods greener
[2018-11-06 07:15:08] Exclusive: Chinese upstart Luckin Coffee seeks funds to double valuation to $2...
[2018-09-26 03:30:16] Dunkin drops Donuts from name in shift to coffee
[2018-08-31 09:30:21] Coca-Cola Digs Into Coffee With $5.1 Billion Costa Purchase
[2018-08-31 08:45:17] Coca-Cola expands into coffee with $5.1 billion deal for...