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Vietnam food-finder app gets at least $1mn funding

Tuesday, December 08, 2015, 13:17 GMT+7
Vietnam food-finder app gets at least $1mn funding
Lozi's homepage is seen in this handout photo provided by the company.

A Japanese media company and a major venture firm have announced funding worth no less than US$1 million for lozi.vn, a Vietnamese-developed app allowing users to find dining places based on ratings and reviews by their peers.

Lozi would not disclose the real value of the investment it received from Golden Gate Ventures and DesignOne Japan, only saying it was a “seven-figure grant,” according to a representative behind the start-up.

“The investment significantly contributes to increasing the company value and boosting its development,” the representative told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday.

Golden Gate Ventures is a venture firm headquartered in Singapore and Silicon Valley and dedicated to supporting Asian start-ups, while DesignOne Japan is one of the East Asian country’s leading Internet media companies.

Lozi, which boasts more than 8.4 million users for the app available on both iOS and Android, will use the funding to leverage its potential to “bring more valuable experience to users via both the website and app versions.”

It also seeks to develop a technology solution for building an online connection between restaurateurs and dinners, as well as expanding into the Southeast Asian market, according to the source.

Besides the financial support, Golden Gate Ventures, which has funded 35 firms in seven Southeast Asian countries, will also provide technical, strategic and business consultancy for Lozi.

DesignOne Japan said the investment is made out of a belief that there is a high need for restaurant-review and food-search services in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

With an eye on the future expansion in the region, DesignOne Japan will “continue to promote a partnership aimed at further growth of Lozi,” it said in a press release on December 3.

Lozi staff work at their office in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Introduced in January 2014, Lozi has grown into one of the leading restaurant-hunting apps in Vietnam.

The app allows users to upload photos of the dishes and restaurants they want to share online, plus their reviews of the food, as well as such details as addresses and prices.

Other users will resort to such reviews when they want to look for a suitable restaurant, or to decide whether they should try a certain dining place.

Lozi now boasts a database of more than 250,000 reviewed places, according to its website.

One of its major competitors in Vietnam is foody.vn, a restaurant-review app that was founded in 2012 and now has a stock of more than 147,400 reviews for dining places countrywide.

The funding for Lozi came after Foodpanda, a global online food ordering service, announced last week that it would shut down all business activities in Vietnam.

The announcement has shocked many domestic start-up businesses specializing in online food ordering services, as Foodpanda’s parent company Rocket Internet confirmed in March that it had allocated $110 million in new investment for the online food ordering subsidiary.

The fund was then said to be aimed at beating other competitors in the Vietnamese market, including Vietnammm, Deleverynow, Lozi and others.

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