Social shopping app Wiindi to focus on expansion in Vietnam


Discovery shopping website and app Wiindi, that is among the first of Vietnamese startups to have joined Singapore-based JFDI Accelerate programme, said it aims to be the number one mobile shopping platform in Vietnam within the next 18 months.

It will be competing with Vietnam based e-commerce sites that online shoppers are more familiar with – the FPT-backed, groupon sites Muachung and Hotdeal, and foreign players Lazada andZalora.

Currently, Lazada has the largest market share of 36 per cent, according to the local E-commerce and Information Technology Department.

Wiindi, which  was also among the top 10 promising startups in Asia Pacific during the recent Echelon Summit 2015, has received a S$25,000 ($19,650) in cash from the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator. The funding will increase to S$50,000 for the next batch, said Phuc Le, co-founder and CEO of the shopping app.

The other Vietnamese startup to have joined JFDI is, a baby product e-commerce company, which raised six-figure seed funding in 2013.

Historically, the programme has seen over 50 per cent of its alumni raise seed funding of $500,000 or more.

Prior to the Echelon summit in June, the app had emerged as winner of Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice award at Vietnam Qualifier of Echelon’s Top100 Startups, in March.

Wiindi is a Pinterest for shopping, which helps shoppers discover, collect and track prices for their favourite products, and get the best deals to buy their desired items. Phuc said that “the platform also helps online merchants increase sale via understanding, engaging and interacting with their customers.”

The app deals with one of the current problems of the Vietnamese e-commerce market – shoppers do not have a place to centralise and remember all the products they discover online. Also, there was no system to track and provide notifications when their desired products went on sale.

On the business side, it addresses issues regarding continued visitor engagement. Typically, online retailers lose 98 per cent of their visitors (who leave without buying) and have no way to engage them again.

Wiindi allows users to create their own “wishlist” to save information about products that they want. It keeps an eye on those items and notifies users immediately if the products drop in price, via email, Facebook notification, or app notification. Meanwhile, the shop owners are able to view the analytics to see what is trending at the moment, which may influence their decisions to provide discounts to the right people.

Phuc believes in the potential of the Vietnamese market. The country has about 12 million online shoppers between the ages of 18 to 35 years old, and over 200,000 merchants who are selling those products online in the country, Phuc said.

He sees Vietnam as the market with most potential in the Southeast Asia, with e-commerce penetration almost tripling during 2011-2016.

With a 93 million population – 44 per cent of which are using internet- increasing 13 per cent year-on-year, social media accounts for an increase of 50 per cent year-on-year. “This is one of the highest speeds all over the world,” he commented.

When it comes to mobile, smartphone growth is 57 per cent, the second fastest rate in SEA, he added. “This shows a clear trend that mobile and social e-commerce is next to big thing in this market. Our vision is to take the number one position in mobile social shopping in Vietnam within 18 months, then expand to other markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia,”he added.

Globally, Wiindi has to compete with similar apps such as Wanelo, Fancy, Polyvore, ShopperBoardand ShoppingIS.

Incorporated in Singapore since April (previously in Vietnam), Wiindi will target the Vietnamese market first, where it has become publisher for Japan’s affiliate marking firm Interspace in Vietnam.

The startup has has gained a monthly organic growth of 35 per cent on the consumer side, and a 20 per cent weekly growth in attracting merchants.


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