Former Lazada Vietnam alumni’s startup Intrepid closes $2m round

Intrepid chairman Chris Beselin

Ho Chi Minh City-based e-commerce services provider Intrepid has closed a $2-million funding round that ascribes the group a post-money valuation of $9 million.

Co-founded by Christopher Beselin (former CEO of Lazada Vietnam) and Khang Chim (former National Sales Director of Lazada Vietnam), Intrepid partners with retailers, distributors and brands to manage and optimize their e-commerce sales and presence on online marketplaces throughout Southeast Asia.

Its services cover account management, customer experience, content creation and optimization, campaign strategy and management, business analytics and market consultation.

In an announcement, the startup said the latest funding will primarily be used for rapid expansion across the region and has been led by a group of Swedish family offices.

Intrepid was founded as a spin-off from the Swedish venture builder Fram and currently has operations in Vietnam, where it claims to be cashflow breakeven, and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Philippines has been determined as the first country for the company’s expansion.

“This (funding) will allow us to widen our footprint and continue to help Southeast Asian retailers, distributors and brands to succeed in e-commerce. Foremost, this is a receipt of the successful hard work of the Intrepid team and the value that our customers see in our services, which ultimately is what drives our model forward,” said Christopher Beselin, Chairman of Intrepid E-commerce Services Group.

“We aspire to become the ‘Baozun of South East Asia’ and our incredible 40+ strong team in Ho Chi Minh City is set to get there as soon as possible,” said Intrepid co-founder and CEO Khang Chim.

The success of Lazada in Vietnam ushered in hordes of e-commerce firms that compete with each other for market share. These include Tiki.vn, Adayroi.vn, Sendo.vn, Shopee.vn, Robins.vn (previously Zalora.vn), and most recently, Lotte.vn.

As each e-commerce platform launched their marketplaces, tens of thousands of retailers flocked to these platforms in the hopes of cashing in on the boom and increasing their revenues.

According to Vietnam E-commerce Association, the country’s e-commerce market grew 25 per cent last year and is expected to maintain its growth in the next three years. Revenue growth in online retail channels in 2017 increased 35 per cent compared to 2016. Revenue from online retail is forecast to hit $10 billion by 2020, accounting for 5 per cent of the country’s retail market.

Also Read:

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

Japan’s Scroll acquires nearly 27% of Vietnamese e-commerce firm Cat Dong

Exclusive: TNB Ventures strikes 1st deal in Vietnam, co-invests 8-digit sum in e-commerce startup

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.