According to our interviewee, Vietnam is likely to be the fastest-growing ecommerce market in Southeast Asia. Their growth is estimated to increase by 32% within 5 years to reach US$39 billion in 2025.
The accelerated pace of e-commerce adoption has pushed brands in Vietnam to go digital in order to reach their customers, fuelling a 23% increase in digital ad spending in 2021 from the previous year, and is projected to grow 14% to US$934 million in 2022.
We wanted to find out more, so we spoke to Jimmy How, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Involve Asia. This Malaysian-based martech has become a major player in Southeast Asia and is expanding into the Vietnam market.
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Jimmy founded Involve Asia in 2014, a performance marketing company specialising in affiliate and partnership marketing. Today, Involve Asia has over 350,000 partners and 4,000 brands, including Lazada, Shopee and Tokopedia.
Involve Asia has also gained prominent investors including 500 Startups, Accord Ventures, OSK Ventures International, GDP Venture, CAC Capital and Cradle Seed Ventures.
Congrats on launching in a new market! Why did you choose Vietnam?
Vietnam is an important market for Involve Asia as it is one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia with a vibrant and technologically savvy population. With an e-commerce market in the country that is accelerating rapidly and high social media usage, it presents a ripe opportunity for us to help brands in the country reach their customers through our proprietary MarTech solution in a cost-efficient manner, and ultimately scale their business through partnerships with influencers, apps and affiliate sites.
Where would you rank Vietnam in terms of martech capability in a Southeast Asian context?
There is sizable room for MarTech growth in Vietnam as local publishers and networks are scaling in size and reach. This allows solution providers like Involve Asia to enter the market to help publishers scale and compete with the global platforms that still dominate the walled gardens. Furthermore, digital ad spending in the market is forecast to grow by 51% between 2022 to 2026 to US$1.69 billion with more Vietnamese taking to the adoption of digital services and increased consumption of digital media and content. We’ve seen that the Vietnamese are actually ahead of many other countries in ASEAN when it comes to their acceptance and sophistication in partnership marketing.
What are some of the major gaps in the local martech market?
One of the challenges that our marketing partners face when they run campaigns on behalf of advertisers is the long payment cycles in Vietnam which can range between sixty to ninety days. This long payment cycle places our marketing partners at a disadvantage as a number of them are influencers or KOLs, which essentially makes them a freelancer. Involve Asia helps solve the long payment cycle through our proprietary risk scoring system and enables advertisers to weed out fraudulent activities and ensure high-quality outcomes are paid out quicker. Involve’s express withdrawal capabilities allow our partners to receive their money in as quickly as 15 days after their conversion, which allows quicker access to their cash to help manage their cash flows giving them the freedom and confidence to scale up their operations.
What’s next for Involve Asia?
We’re looking to invest in and improve on our tech capabilities to ensure that we offer a best-in-class solution to our marketing partners and advertisers. This means expanding our solutions for partners to help them promote quicker and more effectively and to provide our advertisers with more ways to target and promote.