Vietnamese online gaming unicorn firm VNG Corp. is allegedly considering raising funds ahead of a potential US listing. The proceeds would be used to bolster expansion plans.
The company, backed by Singapore wealth fund GIC Pte, is seeking to raise $200 million to $300 million in fresh funds from both new and existing backers, according to sources cited by Bloomberg. Current investors include Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Raj Ganguly’s B Capital Group.
VNG has been reported as exploring fundraising options, including going public in the US through a reverse merger with a blank-check company, for a while now. In August, Bloomberg reported a transaction could value the company at $2 billion to $3 billion. While a SPAC listing has not been discarded as a viable option, the company would now be leaning towards an initial public offering in the US. This is an option that VNG has been exploring “since at least 2017,” and the company is now allegedly restructuring to make it easier for a potential US listing.
Details on the proposed new fundraising round are still being discussed, including the size of it, which could still change, according to the cited news agency. Representatives for VNG have not yet commented on the media speculation.
Vietnamese technology company VNG Corporation was founded in 2004, under the name VinaGames, and specializes in digital content and online entertainment, with a focus on four main businesses: online games, platforms, digital payments and cloud services. Some of its main products include Zalo, ZaloPay, Zing MP3 and ZingPlay, the latter featuring gaming offerings including card and casino-style games. Other popular products include esports offerings. It has 11 offices in five countries.
The company switched names to its current one in 2008. In 2014, it was valued at $1 billion and became the first unicorn startup in Vietnam. The company has allegedly been considering a potential Nasdaq listing since at least 2017.
In that year, VNG was reported as counting with the government’s support for the overseas IPO. The firm has broken records for Vietnam-based companies through its previous funding rounds, which included GIC, Goldman Sachs Group, IDG Ventures, among others.
“It’s a very good sign that a Vietnamese company can become a global company by going to a global capital market. It will help attract a lot of attention and investment to Vietnam,” CEO and co-founder Le Hong Minh said in 2017.