Kilo, a Vietnamese B2B e-commerce platform for MSMEs, bags $5M pre-Series A

Kilo, a Vietnam-based B2B e-commerce platform that connects wholesalers with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), wants to digitize the local retail value chain via technology.

“In Vietnam, micro, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the retail economy -- serving 80% of all purchases,” CEO and founder of Kilo Kartick Narayan said.

Kilo’s platform and tools enable the local small and medium enterprises to manage businesses across multiple sales channels, such as Kilo’s app, Facebook and Zalo, and optimize inventory turnover to save costs and reduce risks over the long term.

The small and medium shop owners have a one-stop shop in which they can browse, build a cart and check out with transparent pricing a wide array of assortment and in-stock details through Kilo’s platform and tools, Narayan said.

Kilo was founded in 2020 by Narayan, former CMO of Groupon, vice president of Coupang and chief business officer of TIKI Corporation. The startup retained thousands of MSMEs in 24 provinces across Vietnam, Ryan Wilber, Kilo’s head of product and engineering said. Kilo, which has grown its net merchandise value by 320x since launching in October 2020, targets an approximately $180 billion retail market in Vietnam, according to Narayan.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based startup announced today it has secured a $5 million pre-Series A to spur its growth.

The latest funding was co-led by Altos Ventures, marking the VC firm’s first investment in Vietnam, and January Capital, with participation from its previous backer Goodwater Capital, Ascend Vietnam Ventures, Decisive Capital Management, Ratio Ventures and other angel investors. The pre-Series A brings its total raised to $5.7 million, Narayan noted.

Kilo will use the new capital to grow its team by 4x in the next 12 months and enhance its platform for customers. The company also plans to add features such as financing, logistics and self-service e-commerce store creation for the MSMEs.

“Our mission has taken on new meaning during COVID as Kilo has enabled offline MSMEs to thrive by converting the procurement process from face-to-face interactions to a contact-free, online process. Customers across the nation have been vocal about how Kilo has kept their business running and families safe during COVID,” Narayan said.

“They will revolutionize the traditional retail industry in Vietnam with their maniacal focus on the customer and technology. The breadth of knowledge and expertise the team brings to market is exceptional and unmatched in the region,” said Richard Song, partner at Altos Ventures.

“We believe strongly in supporting founders who enable MSMEs to be more successful in developing markets, an area in which Kilo has shown significant success,” said partner at January Capital Benjamin Dunphy.