Other participants in the funding round include Singapore’s iSeed SEA and US investor Gokul Rajaram.

Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, co-founders of Meesho, a social commerce unicorn in India, will also participate in the round and join Mio as advisers.

Mio was founded in June last year by Huynh Huu Trung, former partner of venture capital fund IDG Ventures Vietnam, Pham Hoang An, co-founder of logistics start-up Scommerce, Le Anh Tu and Pham Phi Long .

The four men decided to establish it after realizing that people in rural areas spend 67% of their time online on social media and messaging apps.

Mio is an e-commerce platform that primarily sells fresh groceries. It allows people, mostly rural women, to register to become its agents. They use social media channels like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Zalo to reach end consumers.

The products sold on the platform are supplied by suppliers linked by Mio.

Mio aims to encourage women in rural areas to become micro-entrepreneurs and said it will provide them with training in sales and order management, in addition to ensuring product quality and reasonable prices.

The platform has hundreds of resellers who it claims can earn an additional VND 2-8 million ($ 86- $ 347) per month.

The seed capital will be used to set up distribution channels and hire more employees for its technology and product teams.

It plans to add more product categories and customization options.

According to the founders of Mio, most e-commerce platforms in Vietnam prioritize urban areas, although rural areas account for 63% of the country’s population and 60% of GDP.

Logistics costs are high in rural areas due to underdeveloped transport networks and low population density, which is a challenge but also an opportunity for a social e-commerce pioneer, they said.

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