Top Vietnamese online retailer Tiki has bagged USD 20 million in an ongoing Series E funding round from Taiwan Mobile, the territory’s second-largest telecom operator, per a report by Taipei Times.
As Taiwan Mobile’s first investment in Vietnam, the check will help the Taiwanese telco as well as its e-commerce arm Momo, one of the largest platforms of its kind in Taiwan, to expand in Southeast Asia.
The Taiwan-listed telco said in a stock filing on July 15 that the firm had acquired a minority stake worth around USD 20 million, although the ultimate value of its shares may vary depending on the final investment amount of other participating investors.
The investment comes with a 10% non-compounding return guarantee from Tiki’s IPO as well as liquidation preference over other preferred and ordinary shareholders, meaning that proceeds must be returned to investors before Tiki itself.
The investment comes one month after DealStreetAsia reported the e-commerce firm had sealed the first tranche of its Series E funding round by notching USD 100 million from a global investor. In May, the publication reported that Tiki was set to commence its fundraising round “in the next few months,” citing five sources who were aware of the progress.
As one of the fast-growing digital economies in Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s e-commerce sector is expected to be worth USD 23 billion by 2025, according to the e-Conomy Southeast Asia 2019 report by Google, Temasek Holdings, and Bain & Company.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated e-commerce adoption in the country, intensifying competition among Vietnam’s major e-commerce players that are attempting to lure new customers. In early July, Tiki announced plans to ramp up its offerings by adding AIA insurance to its site. Tiki and AIA have inked a ten-year deal for the partnership, per a Nikkei Asia report.
An array of e-commerce players operate in Vietnam, including Sea Group’s Shopee, Alibaba-backed Lazada, and local player Sendo, which previously held merger talks with Tiki that were eventually shelved in July, according to multiple media reports.