[ February 20, 2023 by amnads 0 Comments ]




Founder Spotlight: Phil Tran, Founder of Glass Egg in Senior Success: Entrepreneurship At Any Age

Network News: ELSA, POPS, LogiGear, Golden Gate Ventures

Funding: Gimo, Aura Network, Koina, Quqo, ODA.vn

Vietnam Tech and Startup Environment
Financing, Regulations, Industry Focuses, Trade Milestones, and More.


Vietnam has the third highest number of unicorns in Southeast Asia
Vietnam is in the top 20 highest FDI recipients in the world and the highest is SEA
The VND currency is the most stable in Southeast Asia


Phil Tran, Founder of Glass Egg

Senior Success: Entrepreneurship At Any Age
Phil Tran left Vietnam in the last days of the War and settled in San Diego when he was twelve years old. Near where he lived, the famous singer Khanh Ly opened Que Huong, the first Asian supermaket in San Diego. In it was a tiny bookshop, selling old classics reprinted from copies some refugees happened to take with them. There were not many, but he read most of them. It wasn’t until four years later that he was able to comprehend English books.The first English book he read was Gone With The Wind.

Twenty one years later, in 1994, as he was studying for a lawschool exam, he heard on TV that the US was lifting its embargo against Vietnam. The news triggered his curiosity, and that summer he took a summer job at a law firm in Hanoi. The job gave him a wide view on the different industries in Vietnam where foreigners were making investments. He was impressed by the pent-up energy and the entrepreneurial spirit of the people he met.He knew he had to be a part of it.

In 1999, with financial backing from Dragon Capital, a leading PE firm in Vietnam, he opened Glass Egg Digital Media Ltd., a highly specilalised 3D graphics studio serving the growing computer games markets in the US. As such service was virtually unknown, Glass Egg had to go through a long and difficult time. The lowest was in 2009, during the financial crisis, when companies worldwide were forced to pull back on their outsourcing projects.

Keeping it together as 2010 started to see the markets return, Glass Egg began to see a growing demand for its services.That surge of growth sustained a positive trajectory for 13 years. Today Glass Egg occupies 3 floors of Ree Tower and was just licensed for a satellite studio in Dalat.All in all, GE has nearly 500 engineers, graphics artists, and managers.In late 2021, a friendly competitor and indusrty leader expressed an interest in acquiring Glass Egg. Phil Tran closed the transaction on May 18, 2022. At 59, Phil successfully exited Glass Egg at its peak and is now semi retired.

During his time in Vietnam, besides Glass Egg, Phil together with some partners founded a variety of startups, most notably Lush, the oldest night club in HCMC; Glowie, a talent hunting mobile app; Pasteur Street Beer, a craft beer establishment; and Blush, a top grade beach club in Danang Vietnam.

Phil now spends his time polishing and pitching a 30 episodes TV series, Đúng Sai Ai Biết. The series is a parable of his life and work in Vietnam. It took him two years to write. The film industry is not new to Phil. His family made the first feature for Vietnam {Kiếp Hoa, 1950). He had been involved in the making of prior feature films like Funny Money (Tiền Chùa, 2013) and Go Go Sisters (Tháng Năm Rực Rỡ, 2016). He also spends time learning to write songs for his girlfriend, Phuong, “a songtress with the sweetest of voices”, said Phil. While Glass Egg was his life for over 20 years, his passion remains in writing, music and film.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar on Feb 28, 2023 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: SAVVi Founder Spotlight Series: Phil Tran, Senior Success

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 341166




After launching the application of learning to speak English by AI ELSA Speak, ELSA has attracted attention at home and abroad as the first Vietnamese startup to reach the final and win the SXSW Edu Launch 2016 Education Technology Exhibition in the US. The application is invested by Google’s Gradient Ventures fund, the top 5 lot “Artificial intelligence applications” according to Research Snipers. In addition to achievements in the international arena, ELSA has just ended 2022 with 3 consecutive victories at the awards “Typical Education Technology”, “Famous Vietnamese Brand” and “Products and Services” good quality” in 2022 by the Center for Consumer Protection thanks to its significant contributions to improving the foreign language skills of more than 10 million Vietnamese.


Back in August of last year, Asian media giant POPS Worldwide announced its metaverse entry with DinoPOPS NFT launch which continues to this day, shaken but not erased by the crypto and overall market volatility. “Web3 is all about decentralisation, individuals and true personal ownership. As an audience-first company, we’re inviting DinoPOPS holders and collectors to be the owners of the IP, not just buyers. It is empowered by our efforts to bring win-win utilities like long-term revenue share schemes to DinoPOPS owners and Metaverse activities in the future”, said Ms. Esther Nguyen, the Founder and CEO of POPS Worldwide. “This NFT launch plays a key role in POPS’ strategy to build a massive and dynamic digital ecosystem. We are excited to bring one of our biggest IPs to life through an algorithmically generated digital collectibles. This is just the beginning as we pave the way for our IPs and artists to enter the next stage to Web3 and metaverse.”


LogiGear, a leading provider of test automation and QA services, continues to expand and transform its business into an enterprise solutions services company through strategic M&A and new services offerings, beyond premium test automation and QA services. Jim Ellis assumes the role of CEO of LogiGear Group to focus on future expansion and integration of the growing group of companies, offering clients digital modernization and transformation services. Mr. Ellis brings to LogiGear several decades of entrepreneur experience including new business formation and enterprise value creation, accelerating growth and M&A. While the company pushes forward with its expansion plans, Hung Nguyen will continue to serve as Chairman/CEO of LogiGear Corporation. Looking forward, LogiGear has more M&A on the horizon, as part of providing specialization across all major SaaS services, platforms, and technologies, specifically focusing on CRM and ERP, delivered on a global scale.

Golden Gate Ventures

On a recent morning, Vinnie Lauria found himself weaving through the clogged, narrow streets of Ho Chi Minh City on a motorbike with his three-year-old son as they navigated the morning rush to school. Had he still been living in Silicon Valley the commute would have been less adventurous, but this was where the action was.
Lauria, an American expat and co-founder of Golden Gate Ventures, relocated to Ho Chi Minh City in 2022 after previous stints in Singapore and San Francisco, joining a growing number of foreigners lured there by a belief that the dense metropolis is a new mecca for startups. “Southeast Asia is going to be a global growth engine in the next 10 years and Vietnam will be at the center of it,” said Lauria, sporting a pony tail and dressed tech casual in a printed shirt and white shorts. The number of startups in the country nearly doubled from the beginning of the pandemic through mid-2022, according a July report by KPMG International Ltd. and HSBC Holdings Plc. Some of the world’s biggest investors, including Sequoia Capital, Warburg Pincus LLC and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., are backing those offering promising solutions.



Vietnam’s on-demand salary payment startup GIMO has raised $4.6 million in a Series A funding round. The startup, which offers nearly instant payroll to blue-collar workers whenever they need it, has secured the cash from Southeast Asia-focused venture capital company TNB Aura, among others, DealStreetAsia reported. In 2021, the company raised $1.9 million from a group of investors led by Integra Partners.

Aura Network

Vietnamese non-fungible token (NFT) platform Aura Network has closed the fundraising round of $4 million, with Hashed and Coin98 Ventures co-leading the round. Following the strategic advisory partnership announcement with Republic Crypto, this is the next committed milestone ahead of its Mainnet launch in the first quarter of 2023, Aura Network said in a statement on Wednesday. In this fundraising round, Aura Network engaged some notable blockchain projects, including GuildFi, Istari Ventures, Republic Crypto and other angel investors.


VinaCapital Ventures, the technology investment vehicle of VinaCapital Group, announced last week that it is investing $1 million in Koina, a Vietnam-based data-driven Farm-to-Business (F2B) agriculture technology platform.
VinaCapital Ventures said in a statement that its investment comes as part of a seed extension round of fundraising by Koina.


Vietnamese venture capital firm Touchstone Partners has on Tuesday announced that it is investing $1 million in a seed round in Quqo, a Vietnam- based asset-light business to business (B2B) distribution platform that connects buyers, suppliers, and end-consumers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. Touchstone Partners said in a statement that the investment will enable Quqo to grow its team together with its customer base and expand its distribution network across Vietnam.


“The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has led a US$135 million financing package for Vietnam-based automotive firm VinFast to manufacture the country’s first fully- electric public transport bus fleet and first electric-vehicle charging network.”

“Vietnam has approved a National Green Growth Strategy for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050. It has made strong commitments such as zeroing net emissions by mid-century, reducing global methane emissions by 2030, joining the Glasgow declaration on forests and land use, and the global declaration on transitioning coal power into clean energy.”

“The Vietnamese government has demanded that tech firms keep user data within the country’s borders, urging them to open up local branches, Reuters reported. Effective October 1, foreign tech giants such as Google and Facebook will be given 12 months to open local offices and will need to store user data in Vietnam for at least 24 months.”

“Vietnam’s stable economic and political context has opened up opportunities to attract foreign investment by world-leading semiconductor corporations for the research, application and development of new technologies, such as AI, IoT, and Big Data.”

“Vietnam is viewed as a country with high potential for fast digital economic development and digital transformation trend across all fields. It has set a target to post 31 percent growth in gross merchandise value (GMV) from US$23 billion in 2022 to US$49 billion in 2025, the highest growth in the region, according to the “e-Conomy SEA 2022″ report released by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company in October.”

“Exports continued growing at a double-digit rate, yielding a trade surplus of nearly US$4 billion in the first eight months. Could you share the reasons behind this achievement?In the first eight months of 2022, foreign trade value totaled approximately US$500 billion, with import and export value growing 13.6 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively, compared with the same period last year.”



Website: antler.co
Contact: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonssonej/
Pre-seed to Seed
Every sector

Ascend Vietnam Ventures
Website: https://ascendvietnam.com/
Contact: contact@ascendvietnam.com
Every sector
Pre-product market fit

Cocoon Capital
Seed Round, Series A, Series A
AI, Enterprise Application, Fintech, Insurtech, SaaS, Machine Learning

Do Ventures
Website: https://doventures.vc/en
Contact: https://doventures.vc/en/contact
Early stage
Every sector

East Bridge Partners
Website: https://www.eastbridge.asia/
Contact: info@eastbridgelp.com
Mid-cap investment
Every sector

Gaw Capital Partners
Real estate sector

Golden Gate Ventures
Website: goldengate.vc
Contact: hello@goldengate.vc
Early stage, series A, B
Tooling, consumer apps, SaaS, logistics, e-commerce

Website: https://www.it-farm.com/
Contact: https://www.linkedin.com/company/it-farm-ltd/about/
Seed to series A

Jungle Ventures
Website: https://www.jungle.vc/
Contact: contact@jungle.vc
Pre-seed, seed, series A
Technology startups

Monk’s Hill Ventures
Website: monkshill.com
Contact: ir@monkshill.com
Series A
Technology startups

Patamar Capital
Website: https://patamar.com
Contact: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoff-woolley-b0665/
Technology startups

Quest Ventures
Website: https://www.questventures.com/
Contact: info@questventures.com
Seed to Series A

SoftBank Ventures Asia
Website: softbank.co.kr
Contact: b_plan@softbank.co.kr
Enterprise Software, Mobile

ThinkZone Ventures
Website: thinkzone.vn
Contact: contact@thinkzone.vn
Seed, pre-series A
Fintech, Edtech, Logistics, Ecommerce, Nanotech, Lifestyle, Service

Trihill Capital
Website: https://www.trihillcapital.com/
Early to growth-stage
Solution-oriented companies and transformative founders across sectors and stages.

Vietnam Investments Group
Website: https://ventures.vinacapital.com/
Contact: investment.vc@vinacapital.com

Wavemaker Partners
Website: https://wavemaker.vc/
Contact: pitchsea@wavemaker.vc
Seed Round

Full List Coming Soon To https://www.savvicode.com/

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