Exclusive: Sea Ltd is said to acquire 82% of Vietnam’s Foody for $64m

Photo by Sharon Chen on Unsplash

Singapore-based consumer Internet group Sea Limited has acquired 82 per cent of Vietnamese gourmet media platform Foody Corporation for around $64 million, a source familiar with the matter told DEALSTREETASIA.

On September 26, this portal had reported that Sea had bought a controlling interest in an unnamed Vietnamese startup operating restaurant booking and food delivery services. Rumour had it that the startup in question was Foody.

The transaction was completed in July 2017, Sea said in its NYSE listing prospectus on September 22.

The latest public announcement regarding the relationship between Sea and Foody was a Series B round Foody raised from the Southeast Asia’s unicorn, then Garena, in 2015.

A foreign entity named Airview Investment Pte Ltd at the address of 1 Fusionopolis Place, Singapore, is currently holding 415,652 ordinary shares of Foody, or an 82 per cent stake, according to a business registration form dated September 20 seen by DEALSTREETASIA.

Emails sent to both Sea and Foody did not elicit any response by the time of publishing this article.

“We intend to pursue strategic investment and acquisition opportunities in order to grow our user base, deepen our market penetration and further expand our offerings, including complementary services and products,” Sea highlighted in the listing registration form, adding that the acquisition in Vietnam helped expand its payment platform AirPay, which was launched in Vietnam in 2014.

Sea is one of Southeast Asia’s first unicorns. Last year, it was valued at about $3.75 billion after raising a $170 million Series D round led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

Foody, founded in 2012, has become one of the biggest success stories in the Vietnamese startup space. It secured seed and Series A investments from Japanese VC firm Cyberagent Ventures and Pix Vine Capital. Sea was the Series B investor in July 2015, while US-based Tiger Global Management invested in Foody’s Series C round just three weeks later.

Also read:

Has IPO-bound unicorn Sea acquired controlling interest in Vietnam’s Foody?

Southeast Asian e-commerce startup Sea Group to list on NYSE in potential $1b IPO

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.

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.