Vietnam digital content startup VNG plans first tech IPO in US

Vietnamese technology startup VNG Corp. has agreed to list their shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market following regulatory approval from the Vietnam government.
Vietnamese technology startup VNG Corp. has agreed to list their shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market following regulatory approval from the Vietnam government.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/VNG CORPORATION

HANOI (BLOOMBERG) - Vietnamese technology startup VNG Corp. said it has signed an agreement to list shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

VNG, whose investors include Goldman Sachs Group and GIC, signed a memorandum of understanding to list on the exchange after regulatory approval from the Vietnam government, co-founder and chief executive officer Le Hong Minh said. The process could take 18 to 24 months, he said.

"No Vietnamese company has ever filed for an IPO overseas," he said in a Skype interview from New York City. "We are anticipating it will be a challenging process."

Mr Minh did not disclose the timing or size of VNG's IPO. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is in the US to meet with President Donald Trump May 31, met with an executive with Nasdaq and Mr Minh in New York City May 29 after the MOU was signed, according to VNG. His presence is an indication the government supports the startup's overseas IPO, Mr Minh said.

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VNG, founded in 2004 and based in Ho Chi Minh City, forecasts 2017 revenue of US$180 million (S$250 million), an increase as much as 70 per cent from last year, Mr Minh said. The company's games, including Sky Garden: Farm in Paradise and Dead Target, have shipped to more than 230 countries, according to the company. Its chat app Zalo has more than 70 million users in Vietnam and countries including Myanmar, US, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.