Singapore state investor Temasek is understood to have invested in Vietnam-based logistics platform Scommerce.
Scommerce is the logistics arm of new-retail company Seedcom. It is expected to announce its latest financing next week.
According to two sources familiar with the development, Temasek has injected around $100 million in the Vietnamese company.
A Temasek spokesperson said, “As a matter of policy, Temasek does not comment on market speculation.” Scommerce declined to comment for this story.
Scommerce was created through the merger of Giaohangnhanh (GHN), Ahamove and cross-border delivery and freight forwarding unit Gido. The business started in 2012 as GHN Express, a last-mile delivery service, and later secured funding from Seedcom. It then acquired on-demand commercial delivery startup Ahamove, and launched GHN Logistics to provide integrated logistics solutions.
Seedcom, Scommerce’s parent company, is a new retail company engaged in three key businesses, namely food and beverages, fashion and digital commerce management.
Scommerce has several competitors in the Vietnamese market ranging from cash-rich players such as Grab and Tiki to traditional firms such as Gemadept and Indotrans. Other private equity and venture capital-backed players in the sector include Misa (backed by PE major TA Associates), KiotViet and Logivan.
Temasek has previously said that it wants to invest in Southeast Asia’s “aspiring unicorns”, defined as technology-based companies valued at between $100 million and $1 billion. According to the Google-Temasek-Bain eConomy SEA 2019 report, there are over 70 such aspiring unicorns in the region.
The Singapore state investor has already invested in three such companies in the last year — Indonesian beauty platform Sociolla, mixed martial arts (MMA) media company ONE Championship and fashion e-commerce startup Zilingo. Temasek’s other investments in Southeast Asia include tech startups Gojek, Razer and Lazada.
The region’s growing startup ecosystem is drawing earlier-than-usual investments from investors that typically tend to back more mature businesses. Apart from Temasek, TPG (investment in PropertyGuru), Equinas (MediExpress) and KKR (aCommerce, Voyager) are some of the other prominent investors to have made early bets in Southeast Asia.