Highlights – 1st Week of February, 2020

Vietnamese unicorn VNG pares stake in e-wallet ZaloPay operator

VNG Corporation, which owned approximately 100% of Zion at first, has reduced its stake in Zion to 60%, according to its financial statement for the Q4/2019. This company has raised a total of approximately VND 511 billion (~ US $24 million) in its two private placements since July, 2019 [1], increasing its current charter capital to VND 918 billion (~US $40 million) in Jan 2020.

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, ZaloPay was one of the top five e-wallets accounting for 95% of the total transaction value in the Q2/2019. This company suffered a loss of approximately US $5.8 million in 2018 [2].

Recently and in the near future, digital payments remain to be one of the most attractive segments in Vietnam’s fintech market. Most recently in 2019, MoMo and VNPay have raised an enormous amount of funding, US $100 milion [3] and US $300 million respectively [4]

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[1] https://vnexpress.net/kinh-doanh/vng-so-huu-60-von-tai-zalopay-4050099.html

[2] https://vietnamfinance.vn/vng-giam-so-huu-tai-cong-ty-van-hanh-zalopay-tu-gan-100-xuong-60-20180504224234173.htm

[3] https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/18/momo-warburg-pincus/

[4] https://www.vir.com.vn/vnlife-bags-300-million-investment-from-softbank-and-gic-69568.html

Vietnamese e-commerce startup Leflair suspends local operations.

Leflair has temporarily suspended its local operations for a year as it looks to make adjustments in its business structure [1]. They have to face a capital crunch and requirement for cutting costs. The startup plans to take a step back and rebuild its operation model. In the meantime, the startup said it will maintain its operations in Singapore and in the Philippines. This startup has raised a total of US $11.8 million in its funding rounds since 2016 [2]. Most recently, in Jan 2019, it bagged US $7 million from Belt Road Capital Management and GS Shop in its Series B round [3].

Data from some market research firms shows that Lazada, Shopee, Tiki, and Sendo, the top four e-commerce platforms, suffered losses of VND5,100 billion ($221 million) in 2018, a tripled number against 2016. The accumulated losses exceeded VND12,500 billion ($541.3 million) [4]. Most recently, Lotte has shutted down its three-year-old ecommerce site lotte.vn [5]. The E-commerce industry in Vietnam shows a large potential for growth but also is a fierce market due to its  low consumer confidence, logistics issues, as well as obstacles in physical, digital, and legal infrastructure.

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[1] https://www.vir.com.vn/leflair-the-new-victim-of-e-commerce-in-vietnam-73744.html

[2] https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/leflair#section-lists-featuring-this-company

[3] https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/vietnams-e-commerce-startup-leflair-raises-7m-funding-from-belt-road-gs-shop-116784/

[4] https://www.vir.com.vn/e-commerce-exorbitant-losses-for-a-single-per-cent-69285.html

[5] https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/business/20191225/lotte-vietnam-shuts-down-ecommerce-site-lottevn/52338.html

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