Vietnam-based Coc Coc has become the second most popular search engine in Vietnam, after Chrome. Three months after it received the $14 million funding from Hubert Burda Media in February this year, the ad sales have jumped two times, while the subscription for Coc Coc search has increased by 32 per cent. This was revealed by the company’s co-founder Le Van Thanh at the FPT Techday in Hanoi last week.
Coc Coc was founded in 2007, inspired by Russia’s Yandex, but its products were commercialised during the last three years, since 2013.
It’s products have gained more attention, after the German investment was disbursed and the company declared that it would be competing with Google Chrome in Vietnam
“Hubert Burda Media poured its money in us, after it saw our impressive growth figures,” said Thanh, stating that it took the German investor only six months from approaching Coc Coc to making an official investment.
Meanwhile, the initial investment in the company happened in 2007, when it was founded by three Vietnamese programmers in Russia. This investment was made by Victor Lavrenko, who is currently Coc Coc’s chief executive. “We had no achievement back then, so Lavrenko must have foreseen the company’s potential,” said Nguyen Thanh Binh, co-founder of the company.
According to Thanh, immediate securing of investment when starting up, does not guarantee success. “Earlier the investment, lower is the rate of return for the co-founders, as the company is still developing,” he explained.
Thus, Thanh advocated that startups should stall the call for funding as long as possible.
He said that Coc Coc had encountered a lot of difficulties as a startup. The first major hurdle was the disbelief – most people would refuse to believe that Vietnam could develop a good search engine – which led to other major challenges in finding support.
“Now, the main challenge is the human capital. We are struggling to hold on to our (qualified) staff especially as more foreign firms are entering Vietnam and want to attract talent,” Thanh stated.
Declaring that it was a challenger to Google, Thanh reasoned that a single company cannot optimally solve the needs of everybody. “Google can not always please all users, so there are some aspects for Coc Coc to exploit and gain a dominant market share,” he added.