Vietnam’s Google-rivaling startup gets $14mn funding from German investors

Source: Pano feed

German investors have committed themselves to channeling US$14 million into Coc Coc, a Vietnamese Internet search and browser startup, and the first disbursement has been transferred, the executive of one of the investors said earlier this week.


Hubert Burda Media group will cover $10 million of the investment whereas the remaining is from other German investors, including the group’s executives as individual investors, Peter Kennedy, executive chairman with Hubert Burda Media in Asia said during a talk with Coc Coc co-founder Le Van Thanh.

The first disbursement has been made, Kennedy said, adding that the Vietnamese startup, which ambitiously challenges Google in the Vietnamese market, will get all the money in 18 months.

One of Germany’s largest media groups, Hubert Burda Media, which is responsible for over 400 print and digital consumer brands, officially announced its investment in Coc Coc in early February, but did not disclose the scale of funding until this week.

Kennedy was in Vietnam to finalize the investment with the Vietnamese partner when he met with Thanh.

Coc Coc, based in Hanoi, launched its main products, including the Coc Coc Browser, Coc Coc Search engine, Coc Coc advertising, and a geo location application called “Nha Nha,” in April 2013 and has acquired leading positions in the Vietnamese market, according to Hubert Burda Media.

Kennedy said the decision to add Coc Coc to Hubert Burda’s investment list in Asia came as they were impressed by the product quality and user growth of the Vietnamese startup.

Coc Coc boasts 13 million frequent users of its web browser, and has claimed it surpasses Firefox in the Vietnam market.

The Hubert Burda executive said the German side had spent eight months verifying these statistics using services provided by independent parties such as comScore, Similar Web, and Google.

The result shows, he said, the data Coc Coc provides are true.

“Coc Coc already reaches a very big audience, shows remarkable technological competitiveness and strong growth,” Kennedy said in a previous statement.

“We are convinced of its ability to rapidly develop and launch new features and products that are welcomed by Vietnamese users.”

Coc Coc currently employs more than 200 specialists from all around the world, and also has plans to expand to other markets in the Asia Pacific region.

Commenting on the plan, Kennedy expressed his belief that Coc Coc can achieve success as they have done in Vietnam.

From the Coc Coc side, co-founder Thanh said the German investment will help the company improve its product quality in 2015.

“By the end of this year, we will have unveiled the mobile version of the Coc Coc browser,” he said. “We also expect to penetrate other markets in 2015.”

Thanh added that his firm also needs to invest in the sales and customer service workforce.

Asked if the decision to expand to other markets is a hasty move, Thanh shook his head.

“Coc Coc always works on products that require a high level of technology, which takes a long time for market research,” he explained.

“In Vietnam we had to develop the product three years before its official launch so if we want to enter other markets, work must start just now.”

Coc Coc, whose name is onomatopoeia for the sound of knocking on a door, was founded by CEO Victor Lavrenko and three Vietnamese co-founders.

The Coc Coc browser has surpassed Firefox and Internet Explorer to become the second most popular web browser in Vietnam, only behind Google Chrome, according to data from web traffic analysis tool StatCounter.

Hubert Burda Media has been active in Asia since 1997 and currently manages magazine businesses in Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India, according to the company’s profile.

The German firm considers Asia one of its most exciting avenues of growth for the next few years and invests in digital and media companies.

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Đăng ký: VietNam News