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Cartesian-backed Tim Hortons China picks up new investors

Tim Hortons China, a portfolio company of Cartesian Capital Group, has secured undisclosed financing.

Tim Hortons China, a portfolio company of Cartesian Capital Group, has secured undisclosed financing. Sequoia Capital China and Tencent led the deal, with participation from Eastern Bell Capital. Tim Hortons China was launched in 2018 by Cartesian and an affiliate of Oakville, Ontario-based Restaurant Brands International to open outlets of Canadian coffee-and-donut chain Tim Hortons in China.


NEW YORK, March 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cartesian Capital Group, LLC (“Cartesian”) announced today that its portfolio company Tim Hortons China (“Tims China”) has secured a further round of financing, led by Sequoia Capital China and existing investor Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”), and with participation from Eastern Bell Capital (“Eastern Bell”).

Founded by Cartesian and Tim Hortons Restaurants International, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International (“RBI”), Tims China opened its first coffee shop in February 2019. Since then, the company has grown dramatically, with more than 150 shops across 10 cities in China, and a loyalty program with nearly 3 million members. This new round, coinciding with the second anniversary of Tims China’s grand opening, will help accelerate the company’s growth toward its initial target of more than 1,500 coffee shops throughout China in the coming years.

Tims China is Cartesian’s second restaurant investment in China. Cartesian is also a major shareholder in Burger King China, which has grown from 56 to over 1,300 restaurant locations.

Peter Yu, Managing Partner of Cartesian and Chairman of Tims China, noted, “The team at Tims China, led by Yongchen Lu, has built a tremendous and resilient business, as demonstrated by our rapid growth, loyal customer base, and nimble adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to providing more and more guests with our high-quality products and services, and we are privileged and fortunate to have Sequoia Capital China and Eastern Bell join Tencent and RBI as our partners to accelerate our growth. We are particularly pleased that Tencent has elected to increase its stake, underscoring its commitment to our collaboration.”

David Shear, President International at RBI, commented, “We are excited to continue the Tim Hortons China expansion. Sequoia Capital China’s participation builds on our strong partnership with Cartesian and Tencent and reinforces our ambition for one of RBI’s fastest growing and important markets globally. Our loyal guests throughout China rely on Tim Hortons for a world-class experience and today’s announcement will fast-track our capacity to strengthen this base.”

Cartesian Capital Group, LLC is a leading global private equity firm with a demonstrated ability to grow companies internationally. With funds comprising more than $3 billion in capital commitments, Cartesian’s team has helped to build 60 companies operating across 40 different countries. For more information, please see

The Sequoia Capital team helps daring founders build legendary companies. In partnering with Sequoia Capital, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we’ve learned over 49 years. As “The Entrepreneurs Behind The Entrepreneurs”, Sequoia Capital China focuses on three sectors: TMT, healthcare and consumer/service. Over the past 16 years we’ve had the privilege of working with approximately 600 companies in China.

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Tencent’s communications and social platforms, WeChat and QQ, connect users with each other and with digital content and services, both online and offline, making their lives more convenient. Tencent’s targeted advertising platform helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Tencent’s FinTech and business services support its partners’ business growth and assist their digital upgrade. Tencent invests heavily in talent and technological innovation, actively promoting the development of the Internet industry. Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (00700.HK) are listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (“RBI”) is one of the world’s largest quick service restaurant companies with approximately $31 billion in annual system-wide sales and 27,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories. RBI owns three of the world’s most prominent and iconic quick service restaurant brands – TIM HORTONS®, BURGER KING®, and POPEYES®. These independently operated brands have been serving their respective guests, franchisees and communities for over 45 years. To learn more about RBI, please visit the company’s website at

Tim Hortons® is one of North America’s largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Founded as a single location in Canada in 1964, Tim Hortons appeals to a broad range of guest tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. Tim Hortons has more than 4,900 system wide restaurants located in Canada, the United States and around the world. More information about the company is available at