Sweden’s Fram to buy Rocket-backed Carmudi’s Vietnam business

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Pixabay

Fram Skandinavien AB has decided to acquire 95 per cent stake in struggling Rocket Internet-backed Vietnamese company Car Classifieds Ltd (Carmudi Vietnam).

According to a statement, Swedish-Vietnamese IT service provider Fram will pay $50,000 for a 95 per cent stake in Rocket Internet-backed Carmudi, in which 5 per cent stake is held by a private individual in Vietnam.

Post acquisition, Fram will have the rights to the Carmudi brand in Vietnam, the carmudi.vn domain, its existing traffic, customer relationships, and a first licence to conduct e-commerce in the form of a marketplace in Vietnam, it said in the statement.

In the nine-month period from January to September this year, Carmudi had a turnover of around $190,000 and reported a loss of over $506,000 while in 2016, the company reported a loss of $518,000 and a turnover of $169,000.

The marketplace which had forayed into the Vietnamese market in 2014, is currently present in the country’s two biggest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It had recorded about 1.1 million organic page views as on September 2017.

This deal is the latest in a string of Rocket Internet exits from the Vietnamese market, after the German Internet company withdrew its ride-hailing business, EasyTaxi, from the country, as well as sold Lazada, Zalora and Foodpanda.

Meanwhile, a number of homegrown car classifieds websites have recently sprung up to tap this $3-billion market. Caramo, which focuses on used cars, raised an angel round earlier this year while venture-backed marketplace chotot.vn also started its car classifieds operations.

Fram Vietnam was established in 2016 by former executives at Lazada, McKinsey and Ericsson. Christopher Beselin, chairman of the company, used to spearhead Lazada Vietnam before it was sold to Alibaba.

Fram Vietnam provides IT services to small to big businesses in Vietnam, and invests in venture building. Its venture builder has incubated two companies, freelancer platform Pangara and e-commerce startup Intrepid.