Vietnam-based Internet company VNG Corporation, known as Southeast Asia’s first announced unicorn, has reportedly invested approximately VND383 billion ($17 million) in e-commerce platform Tiki for a 38 per cent stake, according to reports in local media.
DEALSTREETASIA could not independently verify the deal. VNG Corp’s CEO Le Hong Minh did not respond when contacted.
It was reported to be VNG Corp’s largest investment in a business. The deal, which closed in January this year, values Tiki at around $45 million.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the matter, had earlier told DEALSTREETASIA that VNG Corp had reached agreement to acquire 20 per cent of the e-commerce startup for some $10 million.
Tiki raised seed funding from Vietnamese early stage venture capital firm Seedcom and Japan’s Cyberagent Ventures before securing a series A investment from Sumitomo, another Japanese corporation. Cyberagent Ventures partially exited, to hold only 15 per cent, as Sumitomo took a 30 per cent stake in Tiki. It is unclear whether any other exits follow the VNG Corporation investment.
The deal marks a return of the gaming major into the e-commerce business, two years after the corporation shut down its Zing Deal and 123.vn portals and sold 123mua.vn to FPT-led Sendo.vn.
The e-commerce scene in Vietnam has seen a lot of players terminating operations such as Deca.vn and IDG Ventures-backed Project Lana. In addition, foreign companies have also exited by selling out to other international groups, including the sale of Lazada to Alibaba and Zalora to Central Group.