JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce platform that rivals Alibaba, has become the largest shareholder in popular Vietnamese e-commerce platform Tiki, showing its strong commitment to one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing e-commerce markets.
Tiki’s previous largest shareholder was VNG Corporation, Vietnam’s only tech unicorn that has invested a total of $22.4 million USD in Tiki since 2017. According to VNG’s latest half-yearly financial report, which was released at the end of July, VNG only holds a 24.4% ownership in Tiki instead of the previous 28.8%.
According to information obtained on Vietnam’s national business registration portal, JD.com currently holds a 25.65% ownership in Tiki, having made a previous investment in Tiki back in January 2018.
It is unclear whether JD.com has made additional investments in Tiki since then to become the leading shareholder.
Founded in 2010 as an online bookseller – similar to how Amazon got its start – Tiki has become Vietnam’s second largest e-commerce platform by traffic, according to latest statistics from market research company iPrice, the largest being regional player Shopee. Tiki has reportedly been looking to raise up to $100 million USD in its next funding round to keep up in a fierce competition with Lazada and Shopee.
In a previous interview with KrAsia, Tiki’s Chief Business Officer Kartick Narayan said the company is open to “all possibilities” when it comes to exit scenarios.
Update: On August 7 Tiki followed up with a press release in which it refuted that JD.com currently holds the largest shares in Tiki and that investors from China only have about 21.5% of the ownership of the company. Tiki also stressed that “investors do not interfere with business decisions and business development strategies of Tiki.”