B2B platform Telio raises a US$25 million Series A round to power Vietnam’s small retailers

09:20 | 20/12/2019 Companies

Telio, Vietnam’s first B2B e-commerce platform, announced today it has raised a US$25M Series A funding round led by Tiger Global. Sequoia India, GGV Capital and RTP Global also participated in the round. 

Vietnam’s large retail landscape is still dominated by traditional, fragmented trade channels. Small ‘mom and pop’ street shops account for over 60% of FMCG sales in urban areas and over 90% in rural Vietnam, according to Kantar.

Telio connects these small retailers with brands and wholesalers on a centralized platform that delivers more choice, better pricing and more efficient logistics.

The company was founded in November 2018 by an entrepreneurial team with strong experience in tech, retail, logistics and financial services. The company’s Founder and CEO, Bui SyPhong, has over 10 years of experience across telcos and banks in France and Vietnam, previously founded two startups – a peer-to-peer car rental platform and an e-wallet startup – in Vietnam.

Mom and pop retailers in Vietnam typically need to call 50 to 80 wholesalers and distributors to place individual orders, which can take up to a week to arrive. Using Telio’s easy-to-use smartphone app, a retailer can find, select and order products from a wide range of brands and distributors. By aggregating demand, Telio is able to offer better, and more transparent, pricing. Telio is also building a network of warehouses to ensure next day delivery, which vastly improves a small shop owner’s ability to manage both stock and cash flow.

The company has seen a sharp, upward trajectory over the last eight months. Sales are growing 70%, month on month, and the company now serves over 3,000 retailers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, providing more than one-third of those retailers’ monthly stock. Retailers are placing an average of seven orders per month on Telio’s platform.

The company plans to open in four more cities and onboard 15,000 retailers to the platform by June 2020. Telio, which started the year with just 20 employees, now employs more than 200. Telio, which started with a focus on FMCG, is expanding to several new verticals in the next few months.

“Our mission is to empower the large population of small retailers in Vietnam, who play an important role in our economy and the local neighbourhoods they serve. The inventory supply chain in our country is very fragmented, and these small retailers don’t have a clear view of pricing, quality and even availability of most products. By providing an easy-to-use central platform, we aim to help mom-and-pop retailers leverage technology to run and grow their businesses more efficiently,” said Bui Sy Phong, Telio’s Founder and CEO.

Nguyen Huong