Vietnamese e-commerce startup Kilo shuts its doors

October 13, 2023 | 13:39
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The Vietnam-based business-to-business e-commerce startup, Kilo, has ceased operations, according to a report by DealStreetAsia.
Vietnamese e-commerce startup Kilo shuts its doors

Founded by Kartick Narayan, former chief marketing officer of Groupon and business head of Tiki, Kilo aimed to bridge the gap between wholesalers and the country's burgeoning micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Located in Ho Chi Minh City, the company's business registration portal lists its status as temporarily closed and represented by Tran Thi Bich Thuy.

In a major fundraising drive in 2021, Kilo successfully raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Altos Ventures. Other prominent backers in this round included January Capital and previous investors Goodwater Capital, Ascend Vietnam Ventures, Decisive Capital Management, and Ratio Ventures. This investment represented Altos Ventures' maiden foray into the Vietnamese market.

Targeting Vietnam's estimated $180 billion retail market, Kilo focused on connecting wholesalers with the nation's MSMEs. The startup aspired to digitalise the local retail value chain through technological solutions.

Following this significant capital infusion, Kilo articulated its ambition to enhance its customer service platform, bolster its workforce, and introduce novel features.

According to DealStreetAsia, Kilo's platform empowered partners to manage their business across various sales channels, such as the Kilo app, Facebook, and Zalo. This multifaceted approach optimised inventory turnover and aimed to curtail costs while mitigating the long-term risks.

In an interview in 2022, Narayan shared that Kilo's platform had witnessed engagement from 30,000 wholesalers and retailers spanning 42 cities in Vietnam, with aspirations to boost this number to a staggering one million.

"With a population hovering around 100 million and roughly seven million small- and medium-sized enterprises, Vietnam boasts an exceptionally high retail density. For every four households nationwide, there exists one micro retailer. This $180 billion market truly represents the backbone of our economy," Narayan previously commented.

Moreover, Narayan had envisioned saturating the Vietnamese market before branching out into other Southeast Asian territories like Indonesia, Myanmar, and even India.

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By Nhat Minh

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