Aspiring Southeast Asian Unicorns to Watch: Vietnam’s Food Ordering App Lozi

Vietnam-based Lozi, a rapidly expanding technology startup that operates two flagship apps Lozi and Loship, is fast gaining traction among global investors and is one of the country’s many potential tech startups that is primed for achieving unicorn status.

Established in 2014, the startup has since then undergone several rounds of funding. It had previously received investments from Golden Gate Ventures and DesignOne Japan for a seven-digit funding.

More recently, its Series B funding round in 2019, which was led by South Korea-based venture capital firm Smilegate Investment, landed a handsome eight-digit funding for the ambitious startup. Investors that have participated in Lozi’s funding rounds over the years include JC Capital, Ascendo Ventures, DTNI, and Hana Financial Group.

Trung Nguyen, chief executive officer and co-founder at Lozi, said that one of the startup’s key defining features are its one-hour delivery services, which not many in the market are capable of doing. Being an intracity e-commerce platform, the company is focused on providing speedy delivery of products from local merchants directly to customers via its fleet of on-demand drivers.

Nguyen believes that its fast and efficient delivery services, which the startup considers as a competitive advantage, will be the primary driver of profitability and growth since an increasing number of consumers nowadays want fast and on-demand delivery choices. Therefore, the companies that can provide the fastest delivery times will come out on top.

Nguyen also shared that the e-commerce startup’s growth rate can be said to be comparable to those of larger companies and businesses with several times more capital and investment than they do. He believes that one of the main reasons why global investors such as Golden Gate Ventures and Hana Financial Group have decided to support and invest in the startup is because Lozi is creating value for them through their profit-driven business model.

The chief executive officer of Lozi further added that, other than the participation of renowned investors, the startup also managed to get the support of prominent individuals from Silicon Valley, as well as the backing of strategic consultants from Australia with deep experience in the banking industry. Hence, Nguyen is confident that Lozi has the required investment and necessary support to drive the company’s growth from being a local startup to becoming a regional unicorn with a valuation of over US$1 billion.

On what strategies the e-commerce startup would employ to achieve unicorn status, Nguyen said that the key to driving long term sustainable growth is by investing and leveraging on new verticals for a faster rate of expansion. Lozi is looking to go beyond its grocery and food delivery services with Lo-supply, a delivery service in the retail supply chain space with the aim of securing its position there. The co-founder of Lozi explained that the focus on Lo-supply is timely as it will enable the startup to capitalize on the explosive growth of Vietnam’s retail supply chain space and expand in this sector further. Moving forward, Lo-supply may become an indispensable driver of profitability and growth for the company’s business.

Presently, the aspiring unicorn Lozi employs a fleet of more than fifty thousand drivers and counts around two hundred thousand merchants on its e-commerce platform, serving the needs of more than one million five hundred thousand consumers in Vietnam with more than sixty thousand transactions daily. The startup expects to generate around US$31 million in revenue for the year 2020.

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