Vietnam’s VNG Looking to Raise up to $300M, Eyes US Listing

Posted on: December 8, 2021, 10:49h. 

Last updated on: December 8, 2021, 11:37h.

VNG Corp., the fast-growing Vietnamese online gaming operator, is looking to raise up to $300 million and is considering listing on a US bourse.

VNG Corp
VNG headquarters in Vietnam. The gaming company is looking to raise capital and is considering a US listing. (Image: Deal Street Asia)

Reports recently surfaced that VNG, backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte., is looking to raise $200 million to $300 million to facilitate expansion efforts. It’s not immediately clear what that range values the company at.  But VNG is considered a unicorn — a private company with a valuation of at least $1 billion.

VNG investors also include Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Raj Ganguly’s B Capital Group, according to Bloomberg.

Founded in 2004, VNG operates in four areas – cloud computing, digital payments, online gaming, and platforms. The company is Vietnam’s first unicorn, and is one of the four major game publishers in the Southeast Asian country.

US Listing Possibilities

Talk of VNG gaining a US listing isn’t new. In 2017, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Nasdaq to explore a listing on that exchange.

Earlier this year, there was speculation VNG could pursue a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to list its stock in the US. It’s believed such a combination would value the company at $2 billion to $3 billion.

While a SPAC listing is still under consideration, the company is now leaning towards an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, an option that it has been exploring since at least 2017,” reports Bloomberg.

There is a template for smaller Asian gaming enterprises to gain access to US investors via blank-check deals. But the appetite for SPAC deals is cooling, and that could compel VNG to pursue a traditional IPO. Several other non-gaming companies from other countries in Southeast Asia came to market in the US via SPAC transactions.

What’s Next for VNG

No time line was given regarding when VNG could make its way to a US exchange, and it’s not immediately clear if the gaming company has hired an investment bank to facilitate an IPO. A standard offering usually takes several months longer to execute than a blank-check transaction.

VNG will also face the task of familiarizing US investors with its story. While Vietnam is a fast-growing economy and one that many professional investors are familiar with, the market there is largely dominated by slower growth state-controlled companies, and there are limits on foreign investment.

The government is relaxing some of those limits, and the country is home to one of the region’s most vibrant startup scenes, including VNG. The company is now tasked with illuminating a broader swath of foreign investors to its story.