Vietnam’s Intel Capital-backed VC Corp. gobbles Eat.vn in acqui-hire as e-commerce wars heat up

Thu , Ngày 02/08/2012

Reportedly, on August 1st, VC Corp and Eat.vn has signed a formal agreement between 2 companies. And 5Desire was the unit that played an important role in promoting a new partnership of this "Big Brother" company.
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VC Corporation has confirmed their acquisition of Vietnam’s online food delivery service, Eat.vn. Managing director of Eat.vn, Anders Palm, to join VC Corporation and head e-commerce department targeted at expatriates.


Like many developing countries in Southeast Asia, e-commerce is thriving despite the lack of key infrastructures. In Vietnam, friends have been telling me about Groupon clones running their service on a cash-on-delivery model in the efforts to overcome the lack of online payment services and customer adoption of them. In spite of that, the e-commerce space is thriving with stiff competition from foreign companies such as Germany’s Rocket Internet and regional heavyweights like VC Corporation, MJ Group and Reebonz.


The latest news coming from the e-commerce space in Vietnam is the acquisition of food delivery service, Eat.vn, by VC Corporation. VC Corporation recently received a funding round from Intel Capital together with Reebonz. With the additional resources, VC Corporation has been focusing heavily on the local e-commerce space by complementing its new business development and mergers and acquisition ventures with strategic alliances with local banks to utilize their online payment services. As reported first by Vietnam’s leading tech blog, Action.vn, a VC Corporation representative confirmed the acquisition of Eat.vn and stated that the formal agreement will be signed on 1st August, this year. Eat.vn’s food delivery service caters mainly to the expatriate population in Vietnam.


The acquisition is only the first step in VC Corporation’s plans to advance it’s position in the local e-commerce play. Eat.vn’s managing director, Anders Palm, who is well-versed in the e-commerce space in Vietnam, will be joining VC Corporation in an exciting role that will see him help to develop e-commerce products targeted at expatriates studying and working in Vietnam. Former operations manager of Eat.vn, Vu Tran Ngoc Uyen, will take over Anders’ role as head of Eat.vn.


Just looking at the online food delivery space, MJ Group recently acquired OrderFood.vn, renamed to Hungry.vn, and Rocket Internet has also launched their HungryPanda.vn service in the country. With VC Corp now behind the Eat.vn service, the space is prime for the battle of the Titans. The question to ask is whether this is actually a space large enough for so many major players? For local consumers, a food delivery service may not make much sense as it is simple enough to hop on their own motorcycles to grab a hot, fresh meal. The growing expatriate market, is something that could be ripe for the picking.


Food delivery services has not only picked up in Vietnam. SingTel’s recent $12 million acquisition of food portal, Hungrygowhere.com, in Singapore also includes an online food delivery service. Further down South in Jakarta, the young team from Klik-Eat are also trying to cater to customer’s demand of avoiding the well-known city traffic jams to get their favorite dishes.


(Resource: E27.sg)