Milestone for Vietnam’s E-commerce

12:10:41 PM | 9/30/2011

A US$60 million deal among IDG Ventures (Vietnam), Rebate Networks (Germany), and ru-Net (Russia) was invested in MJ group on September 7, 2011 which is combined by,, and Two Media. This marks one of the largest Internet and online commerce company investment rounds in Vietnam's history. To learn more about the future of this merger, Vietnam Business Forum interviews Mr David Tran, Chief Operating Officer of NhomMua. Nam Pham reports.
MJ Group merged with,, and Two Media, the local top IT websites, coupled with arguably the most important investment tie-up in e-commerce to date in Vietnam – US$60 million. What are the underlying reasons for this merger? and were selected based on the available infrastructure and capacity that have been proven throughout our development history since establishment. is a foremost local website for digital maps, providing location services for both the domestic community and multinational companies. The website has consistently cemented its leading position with totally free directional utilities for users., since startup last October, has excelled over competition to become a well-known and the largest group purchasing firm in Vietnam, dominating over 60 percent of the market share and representing nearly 1000 suppliers. develops top mobile applications in Vietnam and has over 800 000 downloads (Vietnam 3.0), allowing consumers to read news, stream music, and enjoy life on the go directly from their mobile phones.
So, with extensive and methodical global investment experience, IDG Ventures Vietnam, Rebate Networks and ru-Net, the world largest three IT investors, saw the potential and opportunities for growth of MJ Group to turn itself into the most important online trade and services firm in Vietnam.
Why do you think this is a good timing for the merger?
I believe that the agreement found a ‘golden timing window’. By estimates of the General Statistics Office in 2010, the accumulated Internet users in Vietnam were 27.3 million by the end of November, or about 31.7 percent of the population. At such growth rate, many experts have anticipated that in the next decade, Vietnam will become an Internet powerhouse in Asia. Added to that, e-commerce has also been booming as users now have at their disposal various choices of products and services through websites for sales, price comparison, product and service assessment, web-based payment and so on.
In addition, the current trend of group-based purchasing and setting up a group purchasing website – in other words, if you find something you like on an website, you can place a down payment and invite many others to jointly purchase such product so that you can enjoy a 50 percent-90 percent discount from the listed price – is very much in vogue. Quick-smooth-cost effective search of services by going online with a third party verification will be increasingly common with consumers in Vietnam.
The e-commerce market in Vietnam has emerged for only a few years. This is an opportunity but also no less challenge to MJ. What do you think?
A long time weakness of e-commerce in Vietnam so far is how to make payment online and earn the users’ trust when shopping online. Uncommon online payment habit and uncertainty of whether the products are up to the expected quality standards saw quite a few intermediate channels in a dilemma. The ‘group purchasing’ market will become bustling when the competition between service providers is in a toughest time ever. Whichever provider offers more utilities will get the better share of the pie. And of course, the buyers will be more selective to get the most out of this shopping approach.
Not only being on the outlook for ‘super cheap’ coupons for every item, service providers will think of various ways to add value and improve their competitiveness, and that is where MJ Group comes in to meet such need. The major investment of US$60 million and a widened partnership network will give MJ Group the momentum to create better products and services at more lucrative prices for users. is arguably one of the few most trusted online shopping local websites with the involvement of various major and reputable brand names. With the launch of MJ Group and the US$60 million in store, what are MJ Group’s expectations of the future of
The two biggest online e-commerce and services websites in Vietnam now, and, have been very familiar to Vietnamese owing to their quality services and the wide range of attractive products. This, backed by the massive investment, will launch MJ Group as an untouchable ‘giant’ in a highly proactive market. To be able to do that, and will maintain and further the current strengths by creating and offering more useful services, while being more professional in training and managing the staff in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as emphasizing more on researches on the needs of consumers and businesses.