Former Zalo exec’s proptech startup Rever raises US$2.3M to expand in Vietnam
GEC-KIP Technology and Innovation Fund (GEC-KIP Fund), a S$120 million (US$87M) venture fund launched last year by Singapore-based Golden Equator Capital and Korea Investment Partners, has invested US$2.3 million in Vietnam’s proptech platform, Rever.
The investment will help the Ho Chi Minh City-based startup to deepen its presence in the home country, where over 200,000 real estate transactions take place each year.
The proptech company plans to open 30 additional large experience centres within the next 18 months to better serve its clients and start expanding beyond Ho Chi Minh City into key markets such as Hanoi and other coastal cities, it said in a press statement.
The fund-raise will also further enable Rever’s continuous efforts in building on its technology, valuation engine, recruitment drive, and operations to improve customer experience and operational excellence.
This marks GEC-KIP Fund’s second investment into a proptech company in the region. In September 2018, it led a S$4 million (US$2.9 million) round in Singapore’s Ohmyhome.
Founded in 2016 by Manh Phan, former Marketing Director of Zalo, Vietnam’s #1 messaging and social platform, Rever has nearly 7,000 agencies and more than 100,000 hobbyist agents.
Rever works with real estate agents to provide tailored services to clients both for living and for investment, from the discovery process to the purchase. The company claims to have generated over US$1.5 million in revenues in 2018 and expects to triple it in 2019, having done almost 1,000 transactions year-to-date.
Minh Phan, Co-founder and CFO of Rever, said: “Real estate markets globally are seeing major shifts from the traditional way of transacting to more tech-enabled ways. Technology has enabled agents to serve more clients and more efficiently, helping buyers make the property selection and purchase process safer and helping sellers make the valuation and asset transfer process more expedient. With our investors’ support and network, we are well-poised for a more accelerated growth this year and become the market leader in Vietnam.”
Rever operates in both the primary and secondary real estate markets, allowing it to have a healthy revenue model and a 360-degrees view of the domestic real estate market. The company works with established real estate developers in Vietnam such as Keppel Land and Khang Dien and has helped support the sales of recently launched high-profile projects such as Empire City and Diamond Island.
Daren Tan, Managing Partner for Venture Investments at Golden Equator Capital, said, “We are bullish on tech-based next-generation service platforms that help bring efficiencies to traditional service industries, yet having offline touchpoints for better customer service and gaining trust. Existing case studies such as the decacorn Lianjia in China show that this hybrid offline-and-online proptech model can succeed in a very fragmented market like Vietnam. Alongside existing investors, we will provide Rever with the support to become the leading digital hybrid agency in Vietnam that offers an efficient and transparent experience to home buyers and sellers.”
Synclare Kim, Executive Director at Korea Investment Partners, will be joining Rever’s Board of Directors.
“The diverse background of the founding team at Rever and their extensive experience at some of the country’s largest tech players such as VNG and Grab, gives us confidence that the management is well-positioned to continue ramping up growth rapidly. We are looking forward to an exciting journey ahead with the team,” Kim said.
Rever’s investors for the previous rounds included Le Hong Minh, Founder and Chairman of VNG, Vietnam’s only unicorn; Phan Minh Tam, Founder and Chairman of 24h Group, the country’s leading news portal; and investment management firm VinaCapital Ventures.