Loship, Vietnam’s one-hour delivery e-commerce platform, has further strengthened its position to become the country’s next unicorn. With an influx of capital injection and a slew of investors expressing confidence in the startup’s future growth and profitability, this startup looks all set to realize its vision.
Founded in 2017, Loship has secured capital injections from several investors, including Vietnam Silicon Valley, Golden Gate Venture, and DT&Investment. In 2019, Loship received another eight-digit funding (USD) from South Korea’s Smilegate Investment in its Series B funding round. Loship also secured investment from Hana Financial Group, one of the largest financial corporations in Asia, for an undisclosed amount in the second tranche of the same funding round.
The recent investment by reputed investors is a testament to the tremendous opportunity presented by Loship, enabling the tech startup to grow and expand further and strengthen its position as one of the leading e-commerce platforms of Vietnam. Amongst Loship’s wide range of services is food delivery, grocery delivery, ride-hailing, medicine delivery, and many other on-demand services. That’s a comprehensive hyperlocal delivery package on offer.
The hyperlocal delivery space is being viewed as a substantial opportunity, especially in Asia, with changing lifestyles, increased purchasing power, and backing by top investors. Indian hyperlocal delivery pioneer Dunzo has been able to secure investment from the likes of Google.
“There are not many players in the market who can offer one-hour delivery services, which we consider a competitive advantage. I believe this kind of service will be our engine for growth and profitability as more and more customers now expect quick and urgent delivery options. Those players who can offer the quickest delivery times will win the game,” CEO of Loship, Nguyen Hoang Trung shares.
“Our growth rate so far is considered to be on par with companies with many times more investment capital than us. I think the only reason why foreign partners choose to support us is that we have a profit-driven business model in place, and we are creating benefits for them.”
“Besides established investors, we also have the participation of individuals from Silicon Valley as well as Australian strategic consultants with many years of working experience in CommonWealth Bank and VIB Vietnam. We are therefore confident that we have the support needed to embark on our journey from being a startup to a billion-dollar unicorn,” he adds.
Service Expansion – To Win The Race To Become The Next Unicorn
As a startup, the journey to becoming a unicorn isn’t as easy as it sounds. However, the prospects remain positive for Loship, given its strong investor backing, a sound and business model coupled with Vietnam’s thriving startup ecosystem, and government support.
“The key to sustaining growth to a unicorn status comes by investing and tapping into new verticals to expand at a much faster rate,” says Trung.
Apart from food and grocery delivery, Loship is looking to gain a foothold in the retail supply chain sector with a service called Lo-supply, bringing a wide selection of ingredients and raw materials to retailers at the most affordable wholesale prices and fastest speed of delivery. “In line with the tremendous growth that Vietnam’s retail supply chain sector is currently undergoing, the opportunity is ripe for us to grow in this domain further. It’s possible that Lo-supply will be an engine for Loship’s business growth and profitability soon,” he explains.
Additionally, Loship wants to tailor its product offerings to such items that cannot be delivered under one hour, for example, household products and home appliances. Commenting on the service expansion plan, CEO Nguyen Hoang Trung says: “There are so many new verticals that we are looking to launch, and we are ready to explore new opportunities that come our way.” he shares.
Market Expansion And Strategic Partnership To Foster Growth
Loship’s strategy is to help and improve the quality of lives of its consumers all over the country, not just in big cities. As part of its market expansion plan, the capital-raising will be used to expand Loship’s presence out of the current four cities where it’s already set footprint, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Can Tho.
“It is reported that just over one-third of Vietnamese residents live in urban areas, with the majority of the population still dispersed across rural areas and encountering difficulties in online shopping. Given this circumstance, we are accelerating efforts to expand our reach into other lower-tier markets to unleash consumption potential further, offering fast and efficient delivery services to customers, especially those living in remote and underserved areas,” says Trung.
Loship is fostering some strategic partnerships with local and international organizations, boosting a strong alliance for long-term development. In particular, Loship has inked partnerships with VNPT – one of the leading digital payment providers in Vietnam as well as other well-known e-wallet platforms for smoother transaction processing and improved user experience. These strategic collaborations will enable convenient and seamless transactions for not only consumers but also driver-partners and merchants on its e-commerce platform.
“Eventually, we will enter the financial technology (fintech) sector with the new development of our e-wallet to facilitate cashless payments for all of the services offered through Loship. The future is cashless, and we are moving towards it,” he shares.
What’s more, the startup has already formed a partnership with Adgo, AI-driven revenue growth engine for Commerce, to help its merchants launch effective advertising campaigns at the most optimal costs. “We understand the difficulty of merchants in reaching customers through advertising on social media platforms, especially when they don’t have enough expertise in the field. Therefore, by connecting with a third party to provide additional advertising features on Loship’s mobile app, we hope to increase sales revenue of our merchants most comprehensively,” Trung explains.
Speaking of his long-term business goals, CEO of Loship shares: “We’re moving towards our vision to become the nation’s startup hero and the next unicorn of Vietnam. I believe we have all the right factors to make it happen – radical visions, well-trained tech talents, and, more importantly, a profit-driven business model that allows us to scale up to the regional standards. As the quality of Vietnam’s tech startups steadily improves, Loship is poised to lead the way in fulfilling the country’s ambition of having ten tech unicorns by the year 2030.”
Loship now has a fleet of more than 50,000 drivers and some 200,000 merchants, contributing to improving the livelihoods of 1,500,000 customers across the country. Around 70,000 daily transactions are being processed on the platform, and this figure is forecasted to triple in the next 12 months, generating around US$31 million in revenue in 2020.
Keep an eye on this innovative startup on its way to become Vietnam’s next unicorn.