Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Tim Culpan

I Drank Myself to the Bottom of Luckin Coffee’s IPO

The financial taste test says this company is selling tech-bubble Kool-Aid as much as espressos and lattes.

Drink the Kool-Aid  before buying the shares.

Drink the Kool-Aid  before buying the shares.

Photographer: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

The pending Nasdaq debut of China’s Luckin Coffee Inc. begs the question of whether it’s a purveyor of beverages, or a technology company.

As I pore through its 286-page IPO filing, I find myself struggling to decide. It’s kind of like Starbucks Corp., I guess, but also a lot like food-delivery giant Meituan Dianping and ride-hailing pioneer Uber Technologies Inc.