Could the Vietnamese “Emerging giants” achieve the "Unicorns" title?

Updated: Nov 1

HSBC and KPMG Company had released the “Emerging giants in Asia-Pacific” report, examines potential unicorns belonging to new economies in the Asia-Pacific region that could affect the global economy in the next decades. The report has ranked the top 10 “emerging giants” in 12 markets, including: China, India, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand.


The “emerging giants” of Vietnam include: Propzy, Sipher, Sendo, Jio Health, Clevai, CoolMate, EveHR, Lozi, VUI and HomeBase. The total value of 10 enterprises is 300 million USD.





Net sales of EveHR, Coolmate, Jio Health and Lozi have grown strongly in the last two years, Coolmate had the best growth rate in 2021 with 266%. Sendo and Prozy sales escalated in 2019, but dropped a lot in the following years.



The startups were still investing to attract customers and continuously had losses with the after-tax loss increases. Sendo had a significantly high after-tax loss in 2019. However, it also decreased expense and revenue in the following years. Especially, Coolmate was profitable after operating for only one year.


Sendo

Sendo was an enterprise receiving higher foreign investment funds than the other enterprises. Sendo successfully raised 51 million USD in 2018 and 61 million USD in 2019. With the growth of the e-commerce industry, the number of consumers and investment capital was constantly increasing. However, Sendo also faced many difficulties in gaining market share in Vietnam because of other enormous competitors, such as Shopee, Lazada and Tiki. In some developed e-commerce markets, there were usually only one or two enterprises dominate the market, so Sendo's path to becoming a “giant” might be challenging.


Sendo's net revenue peaked in 2019, with about VND 547 billion, but declined in the following years (Sendo's net revenue was only about 393 billion VND in 2020 and only about 181 billion VND in 2021). Sendo had continuous loss at a high rate because of high expenses on marketing, especially in 2019, Sendo lost nearly 1,586 billion VND.


EveHR

EveHR is a member of Fram^ Group–a high-end information technology development company listed on NASDAQ. EveHR is a human resource management technology startup that builds a B2B employee benefits and reward platform. Although only established in 2019, EveHR has cooperated with many big enterprises, such as DHL express, Suntory PepsiCo, WWF, Nestle, etc.


EveHR had a very positive business result with revenue growing strongly year by year and after-tax loss decreased significantly. From only nearly 300 million VND since 2019, the business grew strongly and quickly reached a net revenue of over 7 billion VND in 2021. The business lost about 3.5 billion VND in the first year, but reduced to about 2 billion VND in 2021. EveHR's net revenue and profit was quite small compared to other businesses on the list, but EveHR is a business with good business results and promising growth.


Propzy

Propzy is a startup in the Proptech field established in 2015. Propzy operated two companies, Propzy Vietnam Co., Ltd and Propzy Service Co., Ltd. As of 2020, the company has successfully raised USD 37 million. Since established, the total value of the company's real estate transactions reached one billion USD (information from the website). However, since September 2021, the company had laid off 50% of its salespeople because the company wanted to restructure the business model. On May 25, 2022, Propzy proclaimed the dissolution of Propzy Service Co., Ltd.


Propzy's net revenue has increased sharply since its inception, peaking at over 63 billion VND, but suddenly decreased in 2020 and dropped to less than one billion VND in 2021. The business result of the company was not too favorable when the company's profit after tax decreases steadily from about -24 billion VND in 2017 to about -155 billion VND in 2021. Besides the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the real estate market during 2020-2021, and Vietnamese people prioritize direct real estate transactions also makes it difficult for the company to optimize sales using technology.


Coolmate

Coolmate is a men's fashion brand developed in 2019. The brand is aimed at the production of basic clothing for men with minimalist style but with different fabric materials. Coolmate manufactures its products in Vietnam and distributed through e-commerce, ensuring product quality and optimizing the selling price of goods. Coolmate successfully raised two million USD from Ventures Access Ventures. After 3 years of operation, from just over 2,000 orders per month, Coolmate has now processed over 10,000 orders per day, of which over 50% of orders from their loyal customers.


By using suitable business strategy, Coolmate had positive business results, with net revenue skyrocketed from just over 1.2 billion VND in the first year to over 34 billion VND in 2020 and nearly 125 billion in 2021. Profit after tax of the business was not too high but had a very strong growth, from a loss of about 830 million in 2019, Coolmate has reached a profit after tax of VND 1 billion in 2020 and VND 6 billion in 2021. However, the fashion market is a large market with fragmentation, and Coolmate still had no production advantage. The company will face many challenges in scaling up.


Jio Health

Jio Health was founded with the orientation of becoming an application related to medical examination and treatment services. However, realizing the disadvantages of this model, the enterprise changed the target to become a health care company using technology to provide medical services. On March 9, 2022, Jio Health announced that it had successfully raised Series B capital with over 20 million USD, in which the leading investor was Heritas Capital. In the medical field, although technology might become the backbone, the soul of medical examination and treatment activities is still the human resources. With the shortage of medical human resources, Jio Health's scalability is limited.


Jio Health's revenue has grown well and steadily since the first years. Especially during the Covid-19 period, the online pharmacy and doctor-to-home model maximizes its potential and quickly achieved high revenue. Jio Health's net revenue reached 15 billion VND in 2018 and increased sharply to 85 billion VND in 2020 and nearly 124 billion VND in 2021. However, the high expense caused Jio Health's after-tax loss to grow. After Series A capital funding with 5 million USD in 2019, Jio Health constantly invested in expanding the market, the company's after-tax loss also accelerated. Jio Health lost about 27 billion VND in 2018, increased up to over 70 billion VND in 2019 and about 84 billion VND in 2021.


Lozi

Lozi is a startup company based in Vietnam, currently operating two applications, Lozi and Loship. In 2019, Lozi raised an undisclosed fund from Smilegate Investment. In 2020, Lozi announced the successful fundraising in the bridge round led by Vulpes Investment Management (Singapore). Currently, Lozi 's major business is the delivery of food, fresh food, medicine, goods, flowers and delivery for B2B. In addition, Lozi also offers car-hailing and laundry services.


After being funded, Lozi constantly invested in developing its products and services. Lozi's revenue spike in 2020 and 2021. From about one billion in the period 2017-2019, Lozi had the net revenue of over 48 billion VND in 2020, and over 143 billion VND in 2021. Constant spending money to expand market share also makes Lozi continuous loss, up to over 300 billion VND in 2021. Lozi's food and goods delivery market has many larger and stronger businesses such as Grab, Gojek, Shopee, Baemin, etc. To gain a foothold in the market, Lozi will encounter lots of big hurdles.


The enterprises on the list are in high potential sectors and have good market resilience in the next 3-5 years and they are all digitally transforming traditional fields. Although the companies on the list have raised a lot of capital from foreign investors, there are still many challenges in the development path to become the new unicorns of Vietnam.


Source: Vietdata financial platform