8/6/2018 – Vietnamese online retailer Tiki is preparing for a new Series D fundraising that is expected to raise between US$50 million to US$100 million from financial investor groups and strategic investment funds.
The fundraising is currently in works, and Tiki aims to raise US$50 million earliest by the end of 2018 or within the next 18 months through issuing additional shares. The capital will then be used to support their R&D, infrastructure construction and user training.
At present, the company is adding new services and developing several mobile applications, which is the reason why Tiki wishes to call capital, in order to get more support for strategic planning and operations.
Former shareholders of Tiki, VNG and JD.com are also rumored to be joining this round.
JD.com had joined Tiki’s Series C funding at the beginning of the year to become one of Tiki’s largest shareholders alongside VNG, China’s second-biggest firm behind Alibaba and an existing investor in Tiki.vn
Given the presence of JD.com in the round, it will serve to attract other strategic investors into the funding round. JD.com is one of the two largest B2C (business to consumer) online retailers in China by revenue and transaction volume.
Although Tiki has been successful in raising capital, the company has been struggling to gain profit for years due to higher operating cost in a competitive market.
Tiki had spent most of the funds to maintain their position in the market. VNG’s financial report even revealed an accumulated loss of VND322 billion (about US$14 million) in two years from its investment in Tiki.
In order to achieve financial stability, Tiki is considering the options of going IPO or merging and being acquired by a global brand to bring its business to new heights. In the case of listing, Tiki said it prefers to board the Hong Kong Stock Market.
Tiki’s loss story partly reflects the general picture of the fast-growing e-commerce market, which unlike conventional businesses are not assessed based on their profit but mainly on sales, market share, purchase value per customer and return rate.
Founded in 2010 by online bookseller Son Tran Ngoc Thai, Tiki has grown into a multi-faceted ecommerce platform with 250 million page views in the past year and accounts for about 10 percent of traffic on the ecommerce sites in Vietnam.
Moving forward, Tiki aims to expand their business to Taiwan, however, this plan will be withheld until Tiki confirms its leading position in Vietnam’s ecommerce market.
This news is published on Reuters.