Vietnam’s homegrown B2C e-commerce giant Tiki has raised $258 million in series E funding led by AIA Insurance as it eyes US initial public offering.
The latest funding brings Tiki’s valuation to close to $1 billion, its founder and Chief Executive Officer Tran Ngoc Thai Son told Bloomberg in an interview. “This shows the belief of the global capital markets in Vietnam’s growth and potential,” he said.
Other investors include UBS AG London Branch, Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund and Taiwan Mobile Co., and existing backer STIC GIGF Ltd. Son shared that Tiki’s new funding is expected to accelerate investments in logistics, tapping AI and robotics to manage inventory.
Tiki initially planned to go public by 2025, but it now intends to go down the IPO route as early as next year, its CEO confirmed.
Son revealed that the IPO will most likely be via a merger with a blank-check company, though a final decision has yet to be made. If everything goes as planned, the US listing of a Vietnamese-owned startup like Tiki could help pave the way for increased foreign investment in the country’s budding tech industry.
What started as an English book delivery service in 2010 has now emerged as one of the country’s largest e-commerce platforms and the first to offer two-hour delivery with the highest NPS (net promoter score) amongst all e-commerce platforms in Vietnam.
In addition to its financial growth, Son said that Tiki is tethering itself to Vietnam’s rising middle class, which increasingly is turning to online commerce, particularly during the pandemic when Tiki’s fresh-food delivery service expanded rapidly. The company expects revenue growth of 40% to 50% in the next few years.
Aside from the tech advancements, Tiki plans to offer easy-to-buy customized life insurance products. In July this year, the e-commerce company signed a 10-year agreement with AIA Vietnam to be its exclusive insurance partner, giving millions of customers access to highly relevant life and health insurance solutions on the online marketplace.
“Insurance is a great way to take care of oneself and one‘s family and help society at the same time. Partnering with a global leader like AIA allows us to embrace that vision by creating personalized life and health insurance solutions for everyone, every need and every circumstance in a seamless, digital-first experience on our platform,” Son said in a previous interview with Vietcetera.