Vietnam’s e-commerce firm Tiki bags $20m in Series E round from Taiwan Mobile

Vietnamese e-commerce firm Tiki has bagged $20 million in funding from Taiwan Mobile as part of its Series E round.

The funding gives the Taiwanese telecom operator a 2.7% stake in Tiki Global as it seeks to gain a foothold in one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing markets.

The transaction, which was closed last week, values the Vietnamese firm at $740 million. According to regulatory filings accessed by DealStreetAsia, Tiki has secured $94 million in Series E funding this month alone.

Besides the investment from Taiwan Mobile, the Vietnamese firm received about $60 million from Hong Kong-headquartered insurer AIA last week, show its filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

In July, AIA and Tiki had announced a strategic 10-year partnership without disclosing the investment. Under the partnership, AIA Vietnam will become Tiki’s exclusive insurance partner, providing life and health insurance solutions for Tiki users on its e-commerce platform.

Regulatory filings show that AppWorks, a venture capital firm that invests in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, pumped in about $7.5 million in Tiki last week. CE Fintech Capital invested $5 million, while South Korean early-stage investor Nextrans put in $1.5 million.

The share allotments were made at $26.33 apiece.

Last month, DealStreetAsia had reported that Tiki made the first close of its Series E round at around $100 million. It is understood to be seeking to raise over $200 million as part of the round.

The company, which competes with Alibaba-owned Lazada and NYSE-listed Sea’s unit Shopee in the local market, is also mulling an overseas listing to secure additional capital and tap the current public market exuberance.

Tiki’s other investors include private equity firm Northstar, JD.com, CyberAgent Capital, Sumitomo Corporation, Korea Investment Partners and EDB Investments.

In its statement, Taiwan Mobile said its share subscription comes with terms that guarantee it a 10% non-compounding return on Tiki’s qualified IPO as well as liquidation preference rights over other preferred and ordinary shareholders.

The investment in Tiki marks Taiwan Mobile’s foray into the Vietnam market. “It also marks the company’s first strategic and meaningful step to make inroads into the country and GSEA [Greater Southeast Asia, used to refer to Taiwan and Southeast Asia] markets,” Taiwan Mobile president Jamie Lin said in the statement.

In addition, the investment will help Taiwan Mobile’s e-commerce subsidiary Momo.com explore potential partners and new growth opportunities beyond its home market.

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing internet economies within the region. Its e-commerce market, valued at around $12 billion in 2020, trails Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore in Southeast Asia, according to Statista.com.

According to a Google, Temasek and Bain report, Vietnam reported a 46% year-on-year growth in e-commerce and a 50% growth in transportation and food sectors in 2020.

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.