Loship, the Vietnamese on-demand e-commerce platform that started as a reviews app, announced today it has raised $12 million in pre-Series C funding, bringing its valuation to $100 million. The round was co-led by BAce Capital, an Ant Group-backed venture firm, and the direct investment unit of Sun Hung Kai & Co Limited.
Loship was founded in 2017 and offers one-hour delivery for a wide range of goods and services including B2B, food, and ride-hailing. The company says it has more than 70,000 drivers and 200,000 merchants, and serves about 2 million customers in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Can Tho and Bien Hoa.
Loship now has $20 million in total funding. Its previous funding was a bridge round from MetaPlanet Holdings, announced in February 2021. The Series C financing for Loship, which is expected to be completed by the end this year, is currently in progress.
Co-founder and chief executive officer Trung Hoang Nguyen told TechCrunch that Loship raised a pre-Series C round because “there are so many investors participating in our Series C round that we find it would take a long time to completely close.” As a result, Loship decided to split the round into a pre-Series C and Series C.
MetaPlanet Holdings participated in the pre-Series C round. Wealth Well Ventures, Prism Ventures, and SQ Capital Group also took part (SCCG Ventures Asia). Former Starbucks Vice President Mojtaba Ahkbari, FNZ Group APAC chief Executive Officer Tim Neville; BNP Paribas Global Macro Sales Director Ben Fitzpatrick. DASS-Inc founder Wayne Cowden. EC1 managing Partners Simon Eglise. Ilwella Pty Ltd Director Quentin Flannery. Jonathan Feil. iVS CEO Milan Reinartz.
Loship will use the new funds to grow its verticals, such as B2B delivery for small food and drink businesses. As part of the round, BAce Capital founder Benny Chen, the former managing director of Ant Group India, where he invested in Paytm and Zomato, will join Loship’s board of directors.
Co-founder and CEO Trung Hoang Nguyen said Loship has a “very clear path to profitability.” The company started out as an online review platform, before people began using it to buy and sell items through chats.
“Back then people used Lozi the same way that eBay. They could list their products and buy from others. TechCrunch’s Nguyen said that it wasn’t possible to know if the Lozi transaction was successful, particularly if it was only online chat. “The best way to know the exact status of the transaction was to control the delivery.”
Loship was launched by the company in 2017 and began with deliveries of food. Then, it expanded into other areas. Nguyen explained that its platform includes “basically anything that can fit on or be transported legally by motorcycle.” This means verticals dedicated to ride-hailing, groceries, medicine, laundry, packages, flowers, beauty products and B2B supplies like ingredients and food packaging.
Nguyen stated that Loship’s verticals help it differentiate itself from larger players such as Grab or Gojek. He added that being a homegrown startup also gives it an advantage.
We are the only regional player and have a better understanding of our customers than any other players. Our winning strategy is based on our local knowledge. We strategically enter into new and relatively untouched markets like lower-tier cities, grow the customer base and then take things forward from there.”
Loship plans to grow into five additional major cities by the end 2021, increasing its total cities to 10. It will then launch in Tier 2/3 cities in Vietnam before expanding in Southeast Asia. (Nguyen calls Laos, Cambodia and Thailand “must-win” markets.
Chen stated that the funding would help create a stronger ecosystem for small businesses, customers, and riders. We saw Trung’s leadership and entrepreneurship make the company stronger in the face of the pandemic. The company was able to offer new product and services to both its users and merchants.
Publited at Wed, 4 Aug 2021 05.29:03 +0000