Baemin, the South Korean food delivery firm, has announced its departure from the Vietnamese market, effective from December 8.
This move marks the end of a four-year presence in a market characterised by intense competition and economic headwinds.
The company conveyed a poignant farewell to its customers, "Baemin will always cherish the affection, preference, and support you have bestowed on us throughout our four-year tenure in Vietnam. We are honoured to have been part of your culinary experiences."
This strategic exit, as detailed in communications to its partner restaurants, is a response to the global economic difficulties and the cut-throat competition in the local market. Baemin has committed to fulfilling all its financial obligations and reimbursing prepaid advertising and marketing expenditures for December.
Baemin entered the Vietnamese market in June 2019, starting in Ho Chi Minh City. It quickly made its mark with innovative and engaging advertising campaigns, offering a suite of services beyond rapid food delivery, including grocery shopping and online retail.
Operated by Woowa Brothers Vietnam, a joint venture between South Korea's top food delivery firm Woowa Brothers and Germany's Delivery Hero, a global leader in food-tech, Baemin carved out a niche in a diverse market. However, sustaining its operations in Vietnam's challenging delivery market proved difficult.
Earlier this year, the company's executives hinted at scaling back due to mounting operational hurdles.
Niklas Östberg, co-founder and CEO of parent company Delivery Hero, had previously indicated to Reuters that its Vietnamese venture had never turned a profit, despite a generally optimistic outlook for the company in the Asian market.
According to a report by Momentum Works, as of last year, Grab dominated Vietnam's food delivery sector with a 45 per cent market share, closely followed by ShopeeFood at 41 per cent. Baemin had only managed to secure around 12 per cent of the market.
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