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Vietnamese motorbike e-commerce startup OKXE bags USD 5.5 million in Series A round

Motorcycle sales in Vietnam took a hit in the first quarter, dropping 3.7% YoY, and falling 71% in April.

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Vietnamese e-commerce platform OKXE on Saturday announced that it has raised USD 5.5 million in a South Korean-led Series A round, VnExpress reported. The company runs an online marketplace for secondhand motorbikes with the help of AI and big data.

Aside from South Korean VC firm Partners Investment, other backers including IMM Investment Corp, KB Investment, Korea Omega Investment Corp, HB Investment, and SB Partners participated in the round. The new funds will be used for the startup’s Southeast Asian expansion.

OKXE CEO Kim WooSeok told VnExpress that with 45 million motorbikes on the road, Vietnam has a huge potential for online motorcycle shopping, where buyers can encounter several issues such as brokerage fees or parts being swapped. The platform, which was launched in October 2018, helps users to search for and check the quality of the motorbikes.

Vietnam’s motorbike market, the fourth-largest in the world, is dominated by the five main international producers Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, SYM, and Piaggio, according to market intelligence and consulting firm MotorCyclesData.

Despite its ubiquitous presence on the country’s streets, bike sales took a hit in the first quarter of this year, dropping 3.7% compared to the same period last year, falling 71% in April, as the government rolled out measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

While motorcycles remain the most popular means of transportation in Vietnam, with a population of 97 million people, the legion of motorized bikes is causing environmental and congestion woes. Authorities have stepped up efforts to ease the problem, and in 2018, the government vowed to ban motorbikes in Hanoi by 2030.