Exclusive: Gobi Partners-backed dining app Offpeak plans Vietnam expansion

Gobi Partners-backed dining marketplace Offpeak is working on its expansion plans for Vietnam following last year’s launch in the country.

The service which allows restaurants to optimize their table vacancy during off-peak periods while offering users discounts, is already present in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

It raised around $1 million from Shanghai-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners and Malaysian Cradle Fund after an year of inception.

Existing players in the Vietnamese market like Foody, Lozi and Vietnammm  might not be Offpeak’s direct competitors, said Christian Nguyen, co-founder of the startup and CEO for the Vietnam ops.

Foody and Lozi pin the places for their audience, and Vietnammm is a food delivery service, while Offpeak is a transaction platform, which Nguyen compared to Agoda in the hospitality industry.

The discount purchasing model is well-known in Vietnam with Hotdeal.vn, Muachung.vn and several similar websites, which offer high discount rates for meals at restaurants; with users buying vouchers.

With Offpeak, diners reserve their tables for free and pay money to the restaurants at a discounted price. “There are not a lot of table booking apps in Vietnam. Services like Pasgo or Table Now are still new, so there is room for us to grow the business here,” he said.

“The modern life of Vietnamese people is a mix of traditional cuisines and foreign dishes, thus the eating-out culture is becoming more common. I believe the young, tech savvy population will realize Offpeak can be a part of their daily life,” said Nguyen.

“There are winners for each vertical, like Airbnb and Agoda for hospitality, Uber and Grab for transportation, and Offpeak is for the leading position in this F&B niche,” he added.

The funding that Offpeak has got will help cement its position and grow the base of users. “Gobi Partners is one of the most active, professional investors at the moment,” said Nguyen.

Offpeak was one of the quickest investments that Gobi Partners closed with a startup, he further added.

In February, the Chinese early stage investment fund bagged its first transaction in Vietnam, investing $500,000 in crowdsourced tour provider Triip.me. With over $311 million fund raised, Gobi has made investments in over 140 companies.

Also read:

Malaysia’s Offpeak gets $800k Series A from Gobi Partners

Malaysia: Restaurant discovery platform Offpeak gets $117k Cradle grant for local expansion

Gobi Partners cuts first deal in Vietnam, invests $500K in tour startup Triip.me

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.