VNG Corp., a rapidly-growing Vietnamese online casino operator, seeks to raise as much as $300 million in investments. It is also reportedly eyeing a public launch of its shares on a US stock exchange.
VNG Finds Rapid Growth
Recently, reports surfaced that VNG is seeking to raise $200m to $300 million from GIC Pte., Singapore’s sovereign fund. This would allow the company to expand. It isn’t immediately clear at what this range values the company. VNG reportedly has a value of at least $1 billion, enough for it to be classified as a unicorn.
Bloomberg reports that VNG investors also include Eduardo Saverin, a Facebook co-founder, and B Capital Group.
VNG was established in 2004. It operates in four key areas – cloud computing, digital payments, online gaming and platforms. VNG is Vietnam’s first unicorn and is one of the four largest Southeast Asian game publishers.
Capitalizing on Gaming Attention
VNG could seek a listing on a US exchange as part of its expansion efforts. It wouldn’t be the first time, either. In 2017, VNG signed a memorandum with Nasdaq for the purpose of exploring a listing on the exchange.
VNG was rumored to be considering a reverse merge with a special purpose acquisitions company (SPAC) in order to list its stock earlier this year, as well. This combination was expected to bring the company’s value up to $2 billion to $3 billion.
Bloomberg reports that while a SPAC listing is still being considered, the company is now considering an initial public offer (IPO) in the US. It is an option it has been exploring since 2017 or before, Bloomberg reports.
For smaller Asian gaming businesses, there is a way to access US investors via blank check deals. VNG may decide to do a traditional IPO, as there is less demand for SPAC deals. SPAC transactions allowed several non-gaming companies to come to market in the US from Southeast Asia.
Details Still Being Worked Out
VNG has not been given a timeline and it is unclear if the gaming company has employed an investment bank in order to facilitate an IPO. A standard offering typically takes more time to execute than a transaction without any checks.
VNG will also have to make sure that US investors are familiar with its story. Vietnam is a country that is growing rapidly and is well-known by professional investors. However, it is also home to a market dominated largely by slower-growing state-controlled companies. Foreign investment is limited.
The government is easing some of those restrictions. The country is home to an active startup scene, including VNG.