Vietnamese venture capital firm Touchstone Partners has on Tuesday announced that it is investing $1 million in a seed round in Quqo, a Vietnam-based asset-light business to business (B2B) distribution platform that connects buyers, suppliers, and end-consumers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

Touchstone Partners said in a statement that the investment will enable Quqo to grow its team together with its customer base and expand its distribution network across Vietnam.

The team plans to expand its reach to Da Nang, Ha Noi, and other major cities of Vietnam in 2023.

“Our team is excited to support the fast-changing digitalization process of Vietnam’s traditional retail supply chain, currently made up of over 1.4 million stores,” said Jaime Roldan, Quqo Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder.

“We noticed that currently, distribution in Vietnam’s FMCG sector comes with different levels from manufacturers to retailers, and is overly complex and manual. Our platform connects suppliers and buyers through digitalization,

“At Quqo, we believe in customer-centricity, and we strive to build strong and lasting relationships with our mom-and-pop store owners in Vietnam, helping them get greater reach and options to purchase their supply needs online at competitive prices,” he added.

Quqo is an online platform that aims to unlock the full potential of Vietnamese tap hoa (mom-and-pop store) owners, FMCG suppliers and distributor partners via a wide offering of digital products and services.

Their user-friendly B2B marketplace and software as a service (SaaS) tool enables store owners to browse for the best product offers in the market through a simplified and accelerated procurement process.

Unlike other products in the FMCG supply chain space, rather than displacing suppliers and distributors altogether, Quqo works as an asset-light third party that connects suppliers and buyers, easing logistics friction through digitalization and on-demand ordering support.

Through an ecosystem of digital solutions centered around effective distribution, the company focuses on providing mom-and-pop store owners (M&Ps), allied suppliers (FMCGs), and end-consumers with an improved 360-degree retail experience via the traditional channel.

Quqo entered the Vietnamese market in 2020 and since then has on-boarded over 40 distributors, supporting over 5,000 stores across Ho Chi Minh City, and has grown 11 times in gross merchandise value (GMV) since the start of 2022.

“Quqo has the elements we typically look for in startups: experienced founders, solutions that are addressing market needs, products that are scalable, and play into the accelerating digitalization trend,” said Bobby Liu, Director of EiR at Touchstone Partners.

“The tap hoa and local pharmacy are ubiquitous in neighborhoods in cities and towns across Vietnam, and Quqo’s solution gives these small locally owned businesses an easy-to-use tool to connect them with a network of suppliers and efficiently purchase and manage inventory,

“Tools like Quqo’s are critical for these small businesses to compete effectively against bigger chain stores and continue to be important cornerstones in their local communities,” he added.

Touchstone Partners is a Vietnam-focused venture capital firm that aims to assist talented and driven founders to realize the potential of their businesses by applying their deep understanding of the Vietnamese market and utilizing a global network of connections.

Its current investment areas include fintech, real estate, health technology, educational technology and technology initiatives that improve the efficiency of the value chains of important industries such as production and agriculture.

The firm aims to promote positive social development and set high standards for venture capital in Vietnam, proving that Vietnamese startups can deliver significant technology innovation and have a meaningful impact on society.

Its investment capital comes from Pavilion Capital, Cercano Management, and several major governmental and private financial institutions in the region and the world.

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