[THE INVESTOR] SparkLabs Ventures, the venture capital arm of SparkLabs Group, on Jan. 23 said it has invested in Vietnamese e-commerce firm Tiki to expand its Southeast Asian presence.
SparkLabs has joined the Series C round, co-led by Chinese online retailer JD.com and Vietnamese social media firm VNG, with other participants including Korean private equity firms STIC Investments and Korea Investment Partners.
SparkLabs declined to disclose the size of its funding, but industry sources estimate the total round to reach around US$50 million.
“After talking to Tiki’s founder Son Tran and examining its milestones we discovered many similarities with Coupang’s growth pattern, and decided to invest with the industry’s leading investors,” said Chris Koh, co-founder and pricipal at SparkLabs Ventures. Koh had co-founded Coupang, Korea’s e-commerce unicorn that received US$1 billion from SoftBank.
“We are delighted to partner with global investors. Our goal is to expand services in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia, by receiving expertise and know-how from Koh who grew Coupang to a billion dollar company,” said Tran, founder and CEO of Tiki.
SparkLabs’ investment is part of the SparkLabs Ventures Ignition Fund, a US$50 million fund that was launched last year with a focus on Korean and Southeast Asian startups.
Tiki is often described as Vietnam’s Amazon. It started in 2010 as an online bookseller and has now expanded to multiple areas, including digital devices, souvenirs and toys, offering more than 300,000 different items.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com)