South Korean unicorn Woowa Brothers, operator of the country’s leading food delivery platform Baedal Minjok, is set to enter Vietnam’s food delivery market this year, according to Vietnamese media reports. The entry will challenge GrabFood and other home-grown players.
The first hints of Woowa’s expansion to Vietnam were dropped last November at a startup event. Woowa vice chairman Seyoon Oh said that the company was looking for partners to invest in the move.
Vietnam’s food delivery market is valued at US$33 million and is forecast to reach US$38 million in 2020, according to Euromonitor. A survey conducted by market research firm GCOMM concluded that GrabFood is the fastest food delivery service provider in the country. Aside from GrabFood, Woowa Brothers will also be up against Vietnammm, Eat.vn, Foody.vn, and Now.vn.
Established in March 2011 in Seoul, Woowa Brothers develops smartphone applications and advertising platforms. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised US$482.8 million in 11 funding rounds since February 2012. In particular, Woowa raised US$320 million from global investors last December. The same month, the company announced a partnership with Hyundai Movex, an affiliate of the Hyundai Group, to develop delivery robots that can move between floors.
Baedal Minjok, Woowa’s most popular app, is backed by Goldman Sachs and similar to FoodPanda, where users can browse a list of restaurant menus and choose the food that they want on the app. The food is then delivered by Baedal Minjok team. The app has raised a total of US$98 million in three funding rounds. It is also developing an autonomous delivery robot that may be put into service in a few years.