Why is Germany’s Hubert Burda investing in a Vietnamese search engine?

  • March 16, 2015

VietNamNet Bridge - In early February, Germany`s Hubert Burda Media announced that it will invest in Vietnamese web browser and search engine Coc Coc. VietNamNet spoke with Peter Kennedy, Chairman of Hubert Burda Media Asia, and Le Van Thanh, co-founder of Coc Coc.

Coc Coc searching engine, Hubert Burda

Peter Kennedy, Chairman of Hubert Burda Media Asia.

- How much will Hubert Burda Media invest in Coc Coc?

Peter Kennedy: The total investment is $14 million and the amount will be transferred to Coc Coc in 18 months. Hubert Burda Media will invest $10 million, and $4 million will come from other investors, including Hubert Burda Media’s senior managers as individuals. The first amount has been transferred to Coc Coc.

- Why did Burda choose Coc Coc to invest in Coc Coc?

Peter Kennedy: We are very impressed with the growth of Coc Coc’s users as well as the quality of the product. So we`ve decided to put Coc Coc into our portfolio in Asia.

- Regarding the growth of users, how does Burda assess the accuracy of data that Coc Coc had announced, for example 13 million regular users, which is even higher than the users of Firefox in Vietnam?

Peter Kennedy: At first we were very amazed at the growth rate of Coc Coc. We checked the figures for eight months, using the internal statistical system of Coc Coc as well as through global agencies like comScore, Similar Web, and also Google. The results showed that the figures of Coc Coc are completely accurate. Coc Coc had a very good growth.

- Having invested in a lot of technology companies around the world, what does Burda assess the qualifications of engineers of Coc Coc? Are they able to compete with engineers from Silicon Valley?

Peter Kennedy: The qualification of Coc Coc engineers is relatively close to the best teams of engineers in the world today. This was also an important reason that we decided to invest in Coc Coc.

- Coc Coc said they planned to expand to other countries in Asia Pacific. What do you think about the success of this plan?

Peter Kennedy: If Coc Coc can succeed in Vietnam, they can be successful in other countries in Asia Pacific. Basically, if you gather a team of globally qualified engineers to serve the needs of local users as Coc Coc had done, you can surely beat global companies that don’t pay attention to the local market.

- What will Coc Coc do with the investments of Burda in 2015?


Coc Coc searching engine, Hubert Burda


Le Van Thanh: We will continue to improve the quality of our products. By late 2015, we will launch the Coc Coc browser on mobile phones and we are also expected to penetrate foreign markets this year. In addition, we also need to invest in the business team, specifically improving the quality of sales and customer care staff.

- Could you share the experience of attracting foreign investment of Coc Coc?

Le Van Thanh: Burda approached us first. Burda is a global corporation and has invested heavily in the Asian market. Currently they have a branch in Thailand to search for potential projects in Southeast Asia and Asia in general. When accidentally discovering Coc Coc, they took the initiative to contact us via email for more information. Then, they sent a team of technicians to Vietnam to survey our actual capacity.

- Do you think the decision to attack foreign markets at this time is premature?

Le Van Thanh: Coc Coc always chooses products with high technological content so research time is often very long. In Vietnam, we developed this product for nearly three years before the official launch. Therefore, to launch the product in the foreign market, we need to begin now.

Huyen Linh

Source: VietNamNet

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