Vietnamese e-commerce portal Tiki.vn has raised US$44 million from Chinese internet giant JD.com, making it one of the largest deals in the Vietnam tech ecosystem thus far.
This figure is twice the amount Tiki received from Vietnamese internet group VNG last year — a US$17 million funding that gave VNG a 38 per cent stake in Tiki.
According to Vietnamese news site Nhipcaudautu, Tiki will use the newly-raised funding to conduct more training, optimise delivery and logistics processes and market its express service TikiNow.
Tiki was founded in 2010 and initially sold e-books, but it has since diversified to become an all-encompassing marketplace, selling goods such as toys, digital devices, lifestyle and beauty products. Tiki currently stocks over 300,000 different kinds of products.
Last year, Tiki and insurance company FWD Life Insurance also inked a deal to sell personal accident insurance policies on the e-commerce platform. FWD and Tiki offered 100,000 customers free online insurance products to kick start the partnership.
The latest play by JD.com is likely a challenge to counter rival Alibaba’s influence in Southeast Asia. In the last two years, Alibaba has made several significant investments in the region.
Last month, JD.com pumped US$500 million into Thailand to build two e-commerce and fintech projects to compete with Ascend’s TrueMoney, an e-payments company with Alibaba’s backing.
Alibaba also has a controlling stake in Rocket Internet’s Lazada, which has a strong presence in Vietnam’s e-commerce sector.
According to a SimilarWeb report, Lazada.vn ranks 23 places above Tiki.vn with regards to traffic; and a survey conducted by Dream Incubator showed Lazada.vn taking the lion’s share of e-commerce transactions in the country at 36 per cent.
And besides Lazada, JD.com and Tiki will also have to contend with another power player, Shopee, which is owned by NYSE-listed Sea (formerly Garena). In addition, other local e-commerce companies, such as Sendo.vn, may also put up a considerable fight.
Image Credit: Tiki