Vietnamese e-commerce retailer Sendo has secured US$61 million in a series C round – its largest raise to date, Tech in Asia reported.
According to a statement, the round saw participation from existing backers such as SBI Group, Beenos, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Daiwa PI Partners, and Digital Garage, along with new investors including EV Growth and Thailand’s Kasikornbank.
The company plans to use the fresh funds to expand its integrated platform offering for both sellers and consumers and invest in AI and machine learning to enhance customer experience, said Sendo CEO and co-founder Tran Hai Linh.
Prior to the series C round, Sendo received US$51 million in a series B funding round led by Japanese financial services giant SBI Group in August 2018.
Linh said that while the company has hit its annualized gross merchandise value (GMV) target of US$1 billion earlier than expected, it remains focused on sustainable GMV growth, which the company looks to achieve through consumer stickiness.
“Sendo’s integrated ecosystem spanning marketplace, advertising, logistics, and financial services is designed to ensure that, and that goes well with our monetization strategy into multiple revenue streams and ultimately, our path to profitability,” Linh was quoted by Tech in Asia as saying.
Sendo was founded in 2012 as part of FPT Corporation, a large IT service company in Vietnam. It differentiates itself from its e-commerce peers by focusing on the largely untapped tier two cities in Vietnam that is home to 70 million people, in addition to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
A recent research report by Google, Temasek and Bain named Vietnam as the most digital of all ASEAN’s economies with the GMV of internet economy set to account for over 5% of the country’s GDP in 2019 or US$12 billion, recording a 38% annualized growth rate since 2015. The figure is projected to increase to US$43 billion by 2025.
Under the internet economy, Vietnam’s e-commerce market is set to make a big leap from US$5 billion in GMV in 2015 to US$23 billion by 2025.
“e-Commerce is a key driver behind Vietnam’s impressive numbers, where homegrown marketplaces like Sendo and Tiki compete with regional players like Lazada and Shopee,” stated the report.
Sendo’s local competitor Tiki received US$50 million in series C round last year from Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.
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