Sendo – a platform supported by FPT raises $51 mn in Series B funding

New investors from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan invest in Sendo – Vietnam’s first online marketplace and a platform supported by FPT.

The Sen Do Technology JSC (Sendo) announced on August 16 that it has secured investment of $51 million in a Series B round, gaining SoftBank Ventures Korea, Daiwa PI Partners, and SKS Ventures as new investors.

The funding round from investors in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan was participated by all existing investors, including SBI Group, FPT Group, eContext Asia, BEENEXT, and BEENOS.

“The funding will help the company expand the Sendo C2C platform, launch the SenMall B2C marketplace, and make SenPay the leading fintech platform in Vietnam,” said Mr. Nguyen Dac Viet Dung, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Sendo. “Our ultimate goal is to continue to support hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese sellers to prosper and along the way help create millions of jobs. Having achieved an annualized gross merchandise value of $330 million, the company is on track to surpass $1 billion in gross merchandise value in 2020.”

Vietnam is at an inflection point, bolstered by rapid GDP growth, a young population, and willingness to adopt technology. Against this backdrop, its e-commerce sector has strong growth potential and Mr. Daniel Kang, Partner and Managing Director of SoftBank Ventures Korea, believes Sendo’s marketplace model will benefit from these environments the most.

In a fast-growing e-commerce market, Sendo has differentiated itself by focusing on not only Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but also on untapped Tier 2 cities, where 70 million people live. Being a homegrown company also allows it to have a deep understanding of the local market and culture. Sendo currently serves more than 300,000 sellers and millions of buyers in all 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam. To achieve its rapid growth, Sendo focuses on utilizing the strength of partners in the ecosystem, such as merchants, third-party logistics providers, and advertising companies. The company also provides SenPay, a Mobile Wallet Service and fintech solution on the Sendo Platform as well as the offline world.

Bringing together their financial technologies, the investors seek to generate synergies with Sendo. SBI is investing in fintech companies around Asia and studying partnerships for settlement and financing operations.

BEENOS will provide e-commerce know-how, looking into a tie-up with its own services. The financial backers aim to recoup their investment through such options as taking the Vietnamese startup public.

Sendo received nearly 2 billion yen ($18 million at current rates) in funding from three Japanese companies, including SBI, in 2014. Steady operations growth since then encouraged others like Daiwa and the SoftBank Group arm to join in the second round.

Vietnam is one of the most attractive e-commerce markets in the region for investors. With an explosive 33 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past two years, it ranks high among the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the region.

Frost & Sullivan forecast that its e-commerce market will reach a value of $3.7 billion by 2030. 2017 alone was a flourishing year for Vietnam’s e-commerce market, with millions of dollars in investment capital poured in from foreign investors.

The largest investors include tech giants, venture capital firms, and investment companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, Temasek Holdings, Dragon Capital, CyberAgent Ventures and IDG Ventures Vietnam.

Alibaba, Tencent, and Temasek began investing in Vietnam’s e-commerce market only in recent years, while both Dragon Capital and IDG Ventures Vietnam have long been seeding investments.

Credit: Vietnam Economic Times