The Definitive Guide to the VIETNAM STARTUP SCENE Last updated on 10th Dec, 2014 (v.1.5) By Dat Le Viet Co-Founder HATCH! PROGRAM a publication of
WANT TO JUMP AROUND? WHY THE VIETNAM STARTUP SCENE IS HOT? 3 OVERVIEW 9 Startup investment: 2012 - 2014 Notable Startup companies Movement/ Startup Trend Meet-Up/ Event Key People Constraint MYTHS 22 Vietnam Startup Festival RESOURCES 25 Incubator/ Accelerator Investment Fund Co-Working Space Key Media Government Universities BONUS 33 Why bootstrap in Vietnam? Vietnam Angel Network Reference/ To read Our Partner Contact us
WHY THE VIETNAM STARTUP SCENE IS HOT ? Photo: Justin Guariglia
Flappy Bird Creator: Dong Nguyen Release: May 24th, 2013 Removal: Feb 9th, 2014 Brief: The world’s most famous video game, created a worldwide phenomenon and a controversial removal in 2013. No. of Download: 50 mil + No. of Ratings: 48,000 + Top free iPhone app: 109 countries Revenue at peak: US $50,000/day Image: Rolling Stone Magazine
VNG Corporation Founder: Le Hong Minh Founded: 2004 Brief: Biggest Internet company in Vietnam, works on online entertainment, social network & e-commerce Value: US $1 billion Revenue: US $100 mil, ’13 Photo: VNG’s 10 years anniversary Outstanding app: Brief: Second most popular OTT app in Vietnam with 10mil users, after Viber with 12 mil
Two Startup Centers Hanoi City Role: Political capital Population: 6.6 million, ’10 Traits: Eastern-like, political, diplomatic and more formal Photo: NASA Ho Chi Minh City Role: Economic stronghold Population: 7.4 million, ‘10 Traits: Western-like, friendly, business-oriented and casual
VIETNAM: INTERNET USAGE Vietnam US Census Bureau, Internet Live Stats, WeAreSocial,sg Source: Startup Festival This makes Vietnam the 15th largest market on the Internet. 7
VIETNAM: SMARTPHONE USAGE Vietnam US Census Bureau, Internet Live Stats, WeAreSocial,sg Source: Startup Festival With 54% of Vietnam Internet With nearly half of the population is under 30, itusing population in Vietnam is becomes one of the most smartphone (and increasing), potential Internet market in the market clearly left many South East Asia. undiscovered frontiers startups to make a difference, and even for big corporation also. 8
WHAT’S MORE? THE INNOVATION SCENE: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Image: zugaldia; Concept: TOPMITO, TechinAsia.com 9
STARTUP INVESTMENT - 2012 No Startup Categories/Type Investor Type Time 1 Money Lover Expense manager Angel Investors Seed Funding Q4 12' 2 Kleii.com Cloud solution BTIC Seed Funding Q4 12' 3 Foody.vn Food review CyberAgent Ventures Vietnam Seed Funding Q4 12' 4 Baomoi.com Online news VNG M&A Q4 12' 5 Project Lana E-Commerce IDG Ventures Vietnam Strategic Investment Q3 12' 6 Giaohangnhanh.vn Logistic solution Angel Investors Seed Funding Q3 12' 7 VTC Online Digital content Duxton Capital Series B Q3 12' 8 Wala.vn Social network Angel Investors Seed Funding Q3 12' 9 Eat.vn Food delivery VC Corp M&A Q3 12' 10 Yume.vn Social network MJ Group M&A Q2 12' 11 N/A N/A CyberAgent Ventures Seed Funding Q2 12' 12 VC Corp Online & mobile service Intel Capital N/A Q2 12'
STARTUP INVESTMENT - 2012 No Startup Categories/Type 13 OrderFood.vn Food delivery 14 Blue Up 15 Investor Type Time MJ Group M&A Q2 12' Flashcard PVNI Seed Funding Q2 12' Appota.com Mobile Platform Angel Investors Seed Funding Q2 12' 16 Minh Châu Online game IDG Ventures Vietnam Series A Q1 12' 17 NhacCuatui.com Online Music CyberAgent Ventures Vietnam Series B Q1 12' 18 Colorbox.vn Mobile game CyberAgent Ventures Vietnam Series A Q1 12' 19 Tiki.vn E-Commerce CyberAgent Ventures Vietnam Series A Q1 12' 20 Wada.vn Search Engine Kusto Group Series A Q1 12' 21 Everyday Groupon Kusto Group Series A Q1 12' 22 Paylink.vn Payment solution Kusto Group Series A Q1 12' 23 Truongxua.vn Social network Kusto Group Series A Q1 12' 24 Coccoc.com Search engine, browser Russian Investors Series A Q1 12'
STARTUP INVESTMENT - 2013 No Startup Categories/Type Groupon Investor Time M&A Q4 13' Series B Cùng Mua Type Q4 13' 1 Nhóm Mua 2 TOPICA Education Group Online Education 3 Anphabe Career network Recruit Holdings Strategic Investment Q4 13' 4 YTON.vn Health care Health tech group Strategic Investment Q3 13' 5 Glamybox Subscription VanityTrove Singapore M&A Q3 13' 6 Tiki.vn E-Commerce CyberAgent Ventures & Sumitomo Series A Q3 13' 7 iStart.vn Online education Angel Investors Seed funding Q2 13' 8 Greengar.com Mobile collaboration app 500Startups Accelerator Q2 13' 9 Tapmee.com Dating app Angel Investors Seed funding Q2 13' 10 Thegioididong.com Mobile Retailer Robert Willett & CDH Electric Bee Limited Strategic Investment Q2 13'
STARTUP INVESTMENT - 2013 No Startup Categories/Type Investor Type Time 11 Tinh Vân Ebooks Ebooks IDG Ventures Vietnam Series A 12 Nganluong.vn E-Payment MOL Strategic Investment Q2 13' 13 Violet.vn Document sharing IDG Ventures Vietnam & Tinh Van Corp Series A Q1 13' 14 DeltaViet.vn Education Angel investor Seed Funding Q1 13' 15 Ig9.vn Crowd Funding BTIC Seed Funding Q1 13' 16 Kiemviec.com Recruitment solution CareerBuilder M&A Q1 13' 17 Vietnamworks.com Recruitment solution EN - Japan M&A Q1 13' 18 Mytour.vn Hotel booking Recruit Holdings Series A Q1 13' 19 MobiVi.com E-Payment Kusto Group Series B Q1 13' Q2 13'
STARTUP INVESTMENT - 2014 No Startup Categories/Type Investor Type Time 1 Antoree Private Tutor Market N/A Seed Funding Q4 14’ 2 vLance Freelancer Market N/A Seed Funding Q4 14’ 3 Uplevo Brand Design N/A Seed Funding Q4 14’ 4 Morbling 3D Game Studio N/A Seed Funding Q4 14’ 5 Astro Telligent Human Resource Vietnam International Bank (VIB) First Adopter Q4 14’ 6 Haivl Funny Content 24h M&A Q3 14' 7 Rockit Online Online Education 8 Adatao Big data, Analytic 9 Appota Mobile Platform Japan and Singapore investors 10 hangtot.com E-commerce CyberAgent Ventures 11 Ahometo E-commerce OneCapitalWay (5DESIRE) Seed Funding 12 VinE-Com E-commerce VinGroup Strategic Investment Q1 14' Learn Capital, John Katzman, and Formation 8 Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures and Bloomberg Beta Strategic Investment Q3 14' Series A Q3 14' Series B Q2 14' Q1 14' Q1 14'
NOTABLE HI-TECH COMPANY
OUTSTANDING STARTUPS US $1 billion US $75 million - $150 million US $10 million - $30 million
AND MORE… …
MOVEMENT/ STARTUP TREND Top movements: 1. Gaming 2. E-Commerce 3. Mobile app 4. Online booking And more: 5. E-learning & education 6. Food security & agriculture 7. Business platform 8. Hardware application Vietnam Startup Festival
MEET-UP/ EVENT Annual: HATCH! FAIR/ Vietnam Startup Festival DEMO ASEAN Bar Camp Tech Camp Vietnam Mobile Day PHP Day Monthly: Startup Grind Founder Matching Day Business Thursdays Vietnam Startup Festival Hackathon: Teckathon & Mobile Hackathon Hackathon Vietnam Competition: Startup Weekend Hanoi & HCMC Kawai Startup Competition VCCI Startup Competition VYE Bootcamp Global Competition: Seedstars World Code for Resilience
KEY PEOPLE Nguyen Hong Truong Vice President IDG Ventures Vietnam Anh-Minh Do Editor in Chief TechInAsia Vietnam Nguyen Manh Dung Head Representative CyberAgent Ventures Vietnam Le Huynh Kim Ngan Founder Twenty.vn Pham Minh Tuan Director TOPICA Founder Institute Vietnam Startup Festival Aaron Everhart Senior Advisor HATCH! PROGRAM Bobby Liu Founder Hub.IT
CONSTRAINT System E-Payment Logistic Public Policy Education on entrepreneurship Vietnam Startup Festival Human Teamwork competency “Me-too” vs. Real innovation Naïve mindset on business and startup Lack of business skill in depth Too entrepreneurial in young people Too risk averse in old people Lack of culture for constructive feedback and accepting failure
WHAT ARE SOME MYTHS FROM THE SCENE? Vietnam Startup Festival Photo: Homero
MYTHS There’s a naïve perspective on how to make an organization that can bring an innovation to commercial success, and those are: 1) a lack of the mindset to accept failure; not only amongst entrepreneurs themselves, but the general business community in Vietnam and Asia 2) a lack of practical knowledge and understanding on how to commercialize innovations: such as developing a business model, relationship build-up, having an investor’s perspective, identifying a scalable market, deep customer understanding and a sense of customer experiences; 3) and finally, a lack of teamwork and real innovation evidenced by too many “me-too” startups. Vietnam Startup Festival
MYTHS As you can see, the ingredients for positive economic development in Vietnam can be observed in a robust and growing startup ecosystem. While the startup ecosystem is apparent and operational, still there remain three problematic issues at hand: a gap between the startup and the VC, a lack of innovation evidenced by many “me-too” start-ups, and two critical gaps: siloing amongst potential innovation enablers, and a lack of an angel funding network to bridge startups from incubator/accelerator status to VC-ready status. Fortunately, solutions are in the works, and for that reason, the Vietnam may actually pivot into a positive direction, positioning it well for a future as a nation leading in the overall success of the future of South East Asian nations. Vietnam Startup Festival
WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN THE STARTUP ECOSYSTEM? Photo: Yan Lerval
INVESTMENT FUND There is also a new wave of investment fund from U.S., Japan and Korea.
COWORKING SPACE Vietnam Startup Festival
COWORKING SPACE Website Directory Hanoi City Ho Chi Minh City 1. Clickspace http://clickspace.vn/ 1. Sandbox Hub https://www.facebook.com/sandboxhubvn 6. Aspire Office http://www.aspireoffice.vn/ 2. Hub.IT http://www.hubit.asia/ 2. The Start Center http://start-saigon.com/ 7. ITP- Đại học Quốc Gia http://itpoffice.vn/ 3. 5Desire http://www.5desire.com/en/Incubation 3. Saigon CoWorking http://www.saigoncoworking.com/ 8. BTIC http://www.becamextic.com/ 4. iHouse http://www.coworking.vn/ 4. WORK Saigon http://www.worksaigon.com/ 9. The START Network http://thestartnetwork.org/ 5. Manzi https://www.facebook.com/manzihanoi 5. Gekko Space http://www.gekkospace.com/ Vietnam Startup Festival
KEY MEDIA twenty.vn Language: Vietnamese Coverage: Mostly Vietnamese market Key contact: Le Huynh Kim Ngan TECHINASIA.COM Language: English Coverage: Asia market Key contact: Anh-Minh Do INFO TV Language: Vietnamese Coverage: Mostly Vietnamese market VTV2 Language: Vietnamese/ English Coverage: Mostly Vietnamese market Vietnam Startup Festival
GOVERNMENT Fostering Innovation through Research, Science and Technology - FIRST Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology - World Bank Total Fund: US $110 million Website: http://first-most.vn/ Project: Vietnam Silicon Valley Project Available Grants: Overseas Talented Experts Government Research Institutes New Enterprises Research-Innovation Consortia Vietnam Startup Festival
Universities Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) Saigon South and Hanoi Campus RMIT University Vietnam Entrepreneurship Training Course Vietnam National University of Agriculture International Entrepreneurship Training Course Hanoi University of Science and Technology Vietnam Startup Festival
BONUS: WHY BOOTSTRAP IN VIETNAM? Photo: Louis Lim
VIETNAM IS A BEAUTIFUL MESS, IT JUST WORKS! Photo: Louis Lim
WHY BOOTSTRAP IN VIETNAM? 4. Vietnam is happening Vietnam is an emerging market and it changes overnight. Everyone can find opportunity, a great deal of fun, and even peace here. It’s great to travel in as well. 5. Wonderful café culture Great news for café lover: there are good café in every corner of the country. Better news: You can work there with free WIFI and unlimited tea. 6. Little language barrier No need to worry if you only speak English. But there is a huge plus for those who can speak just a little bit Vietnam Startup Festival of Vietnamese: people here will absolutely love them. Photo: Vietnam Travel, IVIVU and HATCH! PROGRAM
WHY BOOTSTRAP IN VIETNAM? 7. Great food The food is tasty, cheap and healthy, as well as locally brewed beer and wine. For foodies: Ho Chi Minh City is one of the best international food cities in the World. 8. Incredible community of online entrepreneurs The scene is growing and growing, at a major pace, there are people in nearly every startup field; and not only Vietnamese, but also international entrepreneurs. 9. Working Opportunities Not only you can work for many technology companies here but also you can easily find a teaching job to feed your startup journey. Vietnam Startup Festival Photo: Sylvia Fountaine, Tuoitre and HATCH! PROGRAM
WHY BOOTSTRAP IN VIETNAM? Those points above are strongly inspired by three expats’ reviews below. It is strongly recommended for you to read them. Bootstrapping in Saigon, Jon Myers, May 2013. [e-journal] Available through <https://medium.com/@jonmyers/bootstrapping-in-saigon-fc9744367386> Why I am living in Saigon, Vietnam, David Hehenberher, Nov 2013. [e-journal] Available through <http://davidhehenberger.com/saigon/> Cheaply Bootstrap Your Startup from Vietnam, Tomo Saigon, Oct 2012. [e-journal] Available through <http://www.saigonist.com/vietnam/bootstrap-abroad-cheaply-bootstrap-your-startup-Vietnam> Vietnam Startup Festival
SNEAK PEAK: VIETNAM ANGEL NETWORK VIETNAM ANGEL NETWORK is a private network for startup investment in Vietnam Monthly Private Pitching Quarterly Portfolio Review http://angel.hatch.vn and get your next big venture assessment! Investment Workshop Networking & Co-Investing
OUR PARTNER Vietnam Startup Festival
REFERENCE/ TO READ Vietnam Startup Investment and M&A: 5 Interesting Trends in 2012 - 2013 Pham Minh Tuan, Dec 2013. [slide-share] Available through <http://www.slideshare.net/hatchprogram/vietnam-startup-investment-and-ma-pham-minh-tuan> There’s more to Vietnam’s startup scene that meets the eye, Anh-Minh Do, April 2014. [e-journal] Available through <http://www.techinasia.com/nhip-cau-dau-tu-startup-vietnam/> A comprehensive look at Vietnam’s startup scene ecosystem in 2014 Anh-Minh Do, March 2013. [e-journal] Available through <http://www.techinasia.com/comprehensive-on-vietnam-incubator-ecosystem/> 20 things Vietnamese startups need to win Anh-Minh Do, April 2014. [e-journal] Available through <http://www.techinasia.com/20-vietnamese-startups-win/> A brief about Vietnam Startup Scene Albert Mai, Feb 2012. [e-journal] Available through <http://www.startupof.me/vietnam-startup-scene/>
REFERENCE/ TO SEE All these illustrations are created by our amazing teammate: Mariam Margishvili Appreciate her at: https://www.behance.net/masho-land
FOR ALL BRAVE START-UPS