Lazada, Sendo top Vietnam’s e-commerce market in 2014

Brand visuals for Lazada and Sendo, from the respective company websites

Two startup online retailers have topped Vietnam’s charts for e-commerce sales. Rocket Internet-backed ecommerce store Lazada.vn did maximum sales, taking the top spot, and Sendo.vn followed close behind, according to data complied by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry also said that Vietnam’s country’s e-commerce sales for 2014 were pegged at $3 billion, a figure that is predicted to rise to $4 billion this year,

Also known as Southeast Asia’s Amazon, Lazada.vn, is a familiar name to online shoppers in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. The e-retailer, which is also backed by Singapore state fund, Temasek Holdings, had entered the Vietnamese market in 2013, and has been growing ever since. Its revenue last year accounted for 36.1 per cent of the total market value, surpassing long-standing competitors such as ebay.vn, vatgia.com and chodientu.vn.

Lazada’s runner-up Sendo.vn, which is backed by the local software giant FPT Group, had a 14.4 per cent share of revenue. Sendo.vn purchased smaller rival 123mua.vn for $469,500 last year.

Also read:  Lazada secures $249m funding led by Temasek

Vietnam’s top tech startups in consolidation mode

The ministry also revealed that although foreign investment in these e-commerce companies made up only 10 per cent of their capital, the overseas players acquired almost half the proceeds of the market. This trend indicates not only their interest in an emerging potential online retail market with some 40 million internet users but also the huge capacity to fund startups.

Tran Hai Linh, CEO of Sendo.vn agreed that international companies had lots of money. “Lazada’s budget for one month is enough for us to spend in several years,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pham Anh Duc, Lazada’s former country director of marketing, told in a recent meeting at Hanoi, that the local market was large enough to accommodate all the e-commerce companies; so the local and the international firms need to cooperate for mutual development.

Lazada had raised $249 million from Temasek Holdings in December 2014, taking the total amount it had raised in the last three years to over $700 million.

Established in 2011, Sendo.vn got funding from three Japanese investors – SBI Holdings, Econtext Asia and BEENOS who jointly signed a series A funding agreement in December. However, the value of the deal was not disclosed. Sendo.vn expects that 2015 sales could jump 200 per cent and plans to develop a mobile commerce platform.

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

Meanwhile, chodientu.vn, an e-commerce platform with a longer history of operation and venture investment from IDG Ventures Vietnam, is losing market share to the two strong and growth-hungry contenders; although it possesses the largest proportion of nearly 30 per cent of Vietnam’s e-commerce market share.

Related story: Vietnamese search engine Coc Coc raises $14m from Gernamy’s Hubert Burda

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.