PE firm Northstar set to lead $75m funding round for Vietnam’s Tiki

Tiki founder and CEO Son Tran speaks during the firm's 9-year anniversary celebrations. Photo: Tiki's LinkedIn page

Vietnam-based B2C marketplace Tiki is seeking to raise $75 million in a funding round led by Singapore-headquartered private equity firm Northstar Group, according to two executives familiar with the matter.

It is understood that the round is yet to be closed.

Last year, a top executive at the e-commerce firm had said that the startup was planning to raise $50-100 million in a Series D round in 2019 to set up fulfilment and logistics systems and strengthen its express delivery services and cross-border trading capabilities.

Tiki was not immediately available for comment on the latest funding round. Northstar declined to comment.

According to data by iPrice, Tiki overtook Lazada in the last quarter of 2018 to emerge as the second most visited e-commerce site in the country after Sea Ltd’s Shopee. It ranked second on Apple’s App Store and third on the Google Play Store among e-commerce apps in the country during the quarter.

Modelled after Amazon, Tiki claims to have served more than 10 million customers in the nine years of its existence. It seeks to differentiate itself through its own fulfilment centres, delivery fleet, customer care staff, and online and cash payment systems.

In January 2018, Tiki had raised an undisclosed amount, believed to be close to $44 million, in a Series C funding round co-led by existing backer VNG Corp and China’s e-commerce giant JD.com. That funding had made JD.com one of the largest shareholders of the Vietnamese e-commerce firm.

It was rumoured last year that JD.com and VNG were interested in joining Tiki’s Series D round. It remains unclear if they have participated in the round led by Northstar.

Tiki had accumulated more than VND320 billion ($14.08 million) in losses in 2017 and 2016, data from the 2017 annual report of VNG Corp showed. According to the report, Tiki suffered a loss of VND282 billion ($12.41 million) in fiscal 2017 alone, nearly triple its total registered capital and seven times the loss of VND40 billion ($1.67 million) in 2016.

Northstar, which is primarily focused on investments in Indonesia, had in November 2018 invested $50 million in Vietnam-based Topica Edtech’s Series D round, marking the biggest financing for an online education company in Southeast Asia.

The PE firm manages more than $2 billion in committed capital and prefers to pick up a majority or significant minority stake in consumer/retail, financial services, natural resources, and telecommunications companies.

DEALSTREETASIA had recently reported that Northstar has sold 25 per cent of its stake in Indonesia’s ride-hailing and payments unicorn GOJEK to generate high multiple returns for its limited partners (LPs).

Also Read:

TPG-backed PE firm Northstar Group said to partially exit GOJEK stake 

PE firm Northstar invests $50m in Vietnam’s Topica Edtech

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.