Vietnamese internet startup VNG has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, marking the first time a Vietnamese technology company seeks a listing in New York. VNG plans to offer nearly 22 million shares in the IPO, with the proposed price range to be determined in a later filing. The company will continue to be controlled by its founders, Le Hong Minh and Vuong Quang Khai, who will retain majority ownership. VNG, formerly known as Vinagame, began as a game publisher in 2004 and has since expanded into various services such as music sharing, video streaming, messaging, news portals, and mobile payments. Its messaging app, Zalo, has become the most popular chatting platform in Vietnam. The IPO by VNG follows the recent US debut of Vietnamese electric-vehicle maker Vinfast Auto Ltd., signaling a growing trend of Vietnamese companies seeking listings in international equity markets.
If the IPO is successful, it will contribute to the momentum of the IPO market, which has been fluctuating recently. SoftBank-owned chip designer Arm Holdings is planning to go public in September, which is expected to be the year’s biggest IPO. Additionally, San Francisco-based grocery delivery firm Instacart, data automation provider Klaviyo, and footwear maker Birkenstock are all preparing to file for IPOs. VNG aims to expand globally, with gaming as its primary focus, while also seeking to generate revenue from artificial intelligence and cloud computing products. VNGGames, the company’s gaming arm, already has nine studio games abroad. The IPO is being led by Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, UBS Group, and Bank of America, and VNG intends for its shares to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol VNG.
VNG’s decision to pursue an IPO in the US highlights the growing presence and ambitions of Vietnamese technology companies in the global market. By going public, VNG aims to access capital and expand its operations, particularly in the gaming sector. This move also reflects the increasing interest from investors in Southeast Asian tech firms, as seen by the recent successful debut of Vietnamese electric-vehicle maker Vinfast Auto Ltd. With VNG’s strong user base and successful services such as Zalo, the company is well-positioned to attract investor attention. By diversifying its revenue streams into artificial intelligence and cloud computing products, VNG demonstrates its commitment to staying relevant in the rapidly evolving tech industry. Overall, this IPO represents a significant milestone for VNG and the Vietnamese technology sector, providing them with an opportunity to showcase their potential on a global scale.