EI Industrial, the first industrial-focused B2B marketplace in Vietnam, announced Wednesday a $670,000 seed financing round led by early-stage venture capital firm Cocoon Capital with participation from BEENEXT.

EI Industrial plans to invest in building a faster and more user-friendly platform and in expanding the sales, marketing, and technology teams to drive rapid growth, the company said in a statement.

Vietnam’s B2B e-commerce market has the highest growth rate in Southeast Asia, reaching  $13.2 billion in 2020, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43 percent by 2025. COVID-19 has heavily impacted global supply chains and has accelerated the digital transformation in the way businesses procure goods. Ninety-eight percent of companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a growing need to find trustworthy suppliers to meet their demands.

“Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the World in recent years, and SMEs are the backbone of the economy. My co-founders and I established EI Industrial to realize our dream of developing Vietnam’s core industries via technology. EI Industrial now supports businesses and sellers in improving both their productivity and profit margins”, said Anthony Ho Phi An, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EI Industrial.

“The market has been waiting for such a solution with Vietnam’s rapid development and EI Industrial addresses a clear need. We have been inspired by Anthony, Sophie, and Trung’s passion, determination, and ability to build a platform that is helping to digitize Vietnam’s businesses. The team is exceptionally driven and we are proud to be an investor and partner in their journey”, said Michael Blakey, Managing Partner at Cocoon Capital. Blakey recently joined the EI Industrial board of directors.

Launched in 2020, EI Industrial is a B2B e-commerce marketplace that aims to accelerate digital procurement in Vietnam. Vietnamese businesses suffer from manual and inefficient processes resulting in wasted time and higher costs for both purchasers and suppliers when procuring goods. Additionally, purchasers cannot quickly source products due to the lack of price visibility and transparency. As a result, one order can take up to two weeks to complete.

With EI Industrial purchasers can now easily source from multiple suppliers and identify the best deals available. The platform is free to use for all suppliers, empowering them to digitize and maximize their reach to customers across Vietnam. EI Industrial also ensures that there is a proper audit trail for both parties. EI Industrial currently serves over 500 customers in Vietnam, including global companies such as the Esquel Group, Heineken, Toshiba, Olam, Aqua, Oishi, Wahl, and Central Group.

The company also works with over 300 sellers to meet the growing procurement demands, including Schneider Electric, Bosch, Honeywell, and 3M. The company is onboarding hundreds of new sellers for the 20 categories listed on its marketplace and aims to support one million stock-keeping units (SKUs) by the end of 2021.

Cocoon Capital is a Singapore-based venture capital firm focusing on early-stage, enterprise tech companies across Southeast Asia with assets under management of more than S$70 million ($51.73 million). The fund invests within the MedTech, FinTech, InsurTech, and other deep tech verticals. It has done a total of 23 investments to date.

BEENEXT is a Venture Capital fund managed by serial entrepreneurs that focuses on assisting founders with their operational experience, network, trust, unique perspectives, and capital. The team invests in early-stage tech start-ups that are focused on building the new digital platforms driven by the data network. BEENEXT is a platform of founders, by the founders and for the founders across the globe, primarily in South East Asia, India, and Japan. Since its establishment in 2015, the team has invested in over 200 companies globally.

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