Investors believe in Coc Coc’s growth: Le Van Thanh

Visual from Coc Coc homepage

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.

Also read: Vietnamese search engine Coc Coc raises $14m from Gernamy’s Hubert Burda

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.

Related stories:

Startup Review 2014: Vietnam tech firms find success, expand overseas

Vietnam startup scene poised to take off as ecosystem comes together

Vietnam’s FPT Corporation kicks off accelerator & VC arm with $3m seed fund

 

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.