“JD has signed the share subscription agreement as co-lead investor in Tiki’s recent Series C round of financing,” JD.com said in a statement. Upon completion of this investment, JD.com will become one of Tiki’s largest shareholders.
DEALSTREETASIA has learnt that the total funding round, led by JD.com, is in the region of VND 1 trillion ($44 million). Other investors, who remain undisclosed, also participated in the round. This portal could not immediately ascertain the quantum of funding that JD.com invested in the round.
“With JD’s expertise in leveraging social media for e-commerce, Tiki’s partnership with VNG in social network and mobile payments is a natural fit as we aim to provide differentiated services to suppliers and consumers in Vietnam. We look forward to working with Tiki to deliver a truly world class e-commerce experience to Vietnamese consumers,” said Winston Cheng, President of International at JD.com.
Founded in 2010 and based in Ho Chi Minh City, Tiki started as an online retailer for books. It currently also offers other products including phone, digital equipment and accessories, electrical appliances, life house products, beauty and health products, among others.
It raised its first round of funding in 2012 from Cyberagent Ventures before securing a Series B investment from Sumitomo Corporation. In May 2016, Southeast Asia’s VNG Corporation injected $17 million in Tiki, picking up a 38 per cent stake in it, which valued the company at $45 million.
JD strengthening foothold in SE Asia
JD.com already has an established e-commerce platform in Indonesia that it launched in 2015. Last year, it also partnered with Thai conglomerate Central Group to use Thailand as a hub for servicing other regional countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia. In October, JD.com had also led a $19 million investment in Bangkok-headquartered online fashion brand Pomelo.
As part of the latest deal, JD.com will partner with Tiki in a range of areas including merchandising, cross-border trade, logistics and fulfilment, it said. The two companies will cooperate to deliver a wider selection of global brands to consumers while helping Vietnamese local brands expand internationally via JD’s global platform, a statement said.
Son Tran, Tiki’s Founder and CEO, said, “JD and Tiki share the same business philosophy: to win market share by winning consumers’ heart. Since inception, Tiki has always focused on best-in-class, authentic shopping experience and amazingly fast delivery. We believe JD.com, with its proven track record in superior user experience, procurement, logistics, and technology will be an invaluable asset for Tiki as we work to become Vietnam’s top e-commerce platform.”
Other big deals in the region include Alibaba’s $1-billion investment in Lazada, the e-commerce service originally founded by Rocket Internet, and a $1.1-billion round in Tokopedia led by Alibaba.
Amazon, too, has entered the region with the introduction of a Prime-like membership service in partnership with Uber and Netflix.