Vietnamese e-commerce major Tiki is looking to raise a series D round of $50-60 million which is expected to close this year, people familiar with the matter, told this portal.
Part of the fundraising is expected to be used to pare its loss, one of the people quoted above added. VNG Corporation, Southeast Asia’s earliest unicorn, invested VND384 billion ($17 million) in the e-commerce startup last year. VNG, which has nearly 2,000 employees, was backed by IDG Ventures and Cyberagent Ventures, which all exited the company. Seen as Vietnamese peer to Garena, it is the leading player in the local gaming industry and also has operations in advertising, social apps and media.
Founded in 2010 as a book selling platform, Tiki had been initially funded by Seedcom, a local venture builder, Cyberagent Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation, before securing the investment from Internet firm VNG.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based corporation holds 38 per cent of Tiki and records the firm as an affiliate company.
Both VNG and Tiki did not comment when asked on the proposed Series D funding.
Tiki has recorded VND255 billion in losses since VNG’s investment until the end of last fiscal, as per local media, which had compiled VNG’s financial statements.
The 38 per cent equity interest in Tiki has resulted in a VND97 billion decline in profit for the Internet major. However, VNG still enjoyed a two-fold increase in its profit in 2016, which touched VND676 billion.
Tran Ngoc Thai Son, CEO of Tiki, had earlier told local media that the loss was recorded because the company had heavily invested in its e-commerce infrastructure, human resources and technology. He was also quoted by local media as stating that the company considered the loss as a “long-term investment”.
Tiki has been expanding its sale portfolio from purely books, and the listing has increased from 100,000 to 300,000 items since VNG’s financing.