[ May 3, 2024 by Nguyen Phan 0 Comments ]

SAVVI NEWSLETTER (JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2024)

2024_January_february

SAVVI HIGHLIGHTS

Network News: Do Ventures, Gaw Capital Partners, Wavemaker Partners, VietnamWorks

Funding: Be Group, Igloo, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Validus Vietnam

Vietnam Tech and Startup Environment: Semiconductor manufacturing investment, AI, EVs, Renewables investment, and More

Vietnam Film and Music Industry News: International music collaborations, film festival, the overall music market, and more

DID YOU KNOW?

Vietnam is the safest place to visit in Asia, according to Global Law and Order Index The WEF Founder predicts Vietnam to be in the top 20 largest economies in the future Vietnamese companies account for around 18% of Cambodia’s economy Vietnamese make up the largest percentage of Japan’s foreign workforce

HAPPY TET

SAVVi Code would like to wish a very happy Lunar New Year to its Members!

As we celebrate the coming and going of the Lunar New Year, we wish you and your loved ones an abundance of joy, prosperity, and good fortune in the Year of the Dragon!

May this special time bring you closer to family and friends, filled with cherished moments and laughter. Let’s embrace the spirit of renewal and hope as we embark on new beginnings together.

May the coming year be blessed with success in all your endeavors, and may each day be a step closer to your dreams. Here’s to health, happiness, and prosperity in the year ahead!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!

Warmest wishes,

 

SAVVi Code

SAVVI NETWORK NEWS

UPDATES

Do Ventures

According to Do Ventures, in the face of a difficult global economic context, venture capital activities in Vietnam continue to slow down, marking a decrease for two consecutive years since 2021. Statistics show that in the first 9 months of 2023, the total value of deals decreased by 13%, reaching a total of 427 million USD. This trend is more clearly shown in the sharp decrease of 40% in the number of deals, reaching the lowest level since 2018 with 56 recorded transactions. The number of transactions has also decreased significantly in deals with small and medium capital call sizes, with the most significant decrease of 50% in deals worth less than 500 thousand USD. Meanwhile, the number of transactions in the range of 10 million USD – 50 million USD decreased significantly, still remaining at a higher level compared to the period before 2022. This trend shows the increasing presence of “mature” technology companies in Vietnam’s startup ecosystem. Ms. Do Hoang Uyen Vy, co-founder and CEO of Do Ventures, commented: “In the context of many challenges facing both the domestic and global economies today, raising capital is becoming increasingly difficult. when investors are very cautious with disbursement decisions. When evaluating a company, investors will pay more attention to unit economics instead of rapid growth, especially with early-stage companies. Therefore, startups need to adapt and shift to a sustainable growth model to be able to overcome the current period of volatility.”

Gaw Capital Partners

In compliance with corporate records submitted to local authorities, Gaw Capital Partners has concluded the sale of the Hotel G in Singapore to a company under the ownership of CapitaLand Group. Beh Siew Kim, Hoe Kit Mak, Patricia Goh, and Edward Bin, all senior executives with Capitaland Group’s investment or lodging units, are listed as directors of a special purpose vehicle that houses the 308-key budget hostelry. According to sources familiar with the transaction, the Temasek-backed giant paid just under S$240 million ($180 million) for the property close to the Bugis area. After Mingtiandi revealed that CapitaLand’s Ascott lodging business was conducting exclusive due diligence to purchase the 94,560 square foot (8,785 square meter) hospitality asset from a fund managed by the Hong Kong-based private equity firm, the deal finalized in less than two months. In an interview with Mingtiandi last year, Capital and Investment, the listed fund management division of the largest real estate company in Southeast Asia, stated that it hopes to nearly double its current production from the lodging category by 2028, to S$500 million in fee income. Acquisitions are one of the main strategies the company plans to use to achieve this goal. In 2015, Gaw Capital Partners made its first acquisition in Singapore’s hospitality industry when it paid S$203 million (about $144 million) for the Big Hotel, which was located at the intersection of Middle Road and Bencoolen Road.

Wavemaker Partners

Meiro, a Singapore-based customer data platform, has secured US$3 million in a pre-series A round, marking its first external raise. Wavemaker Partners led the round, with Singapore-based angel investment network Angel Central also participating, Meiro said in a statement. The startup integrates user data from various sources, including social media platforms and websites, to establish a unified database. This is then employed to construct an identity graph, enabling its clients to formulate personalized marketing strategies. Since it was founded in 2018, Meiro has relied on internal funding, with its founders investing about US$740,000 from Datadriven, a consulting firm they also started. The founders previously mentioned to Tech in Asia that securing an investor would not have contributed value to their venture during the company’s earlier days. Meiro has also managed to achieve and maintain its profitability since 2019. However, the latest funds will help the firm expand further as it aims to increase its presence in Southeast Asia and Europe. It also wants to enter the Middle East, opening a branch in Dubai by 2024. The startup also aims to double its annual revenue and expand its team from 50 to 70 members. Moreover, its 2024 plans include incorporating genAI tech into its platform. “While we have always been self-sufficient, this investment will help us address market demand, accelerate the development of our product and business, and strengthen our presence in the international markets while we have a competitive advantage,” said Meiro CEO and co-founder Jana Marlé-Zizková. In 2022, the company’s operating profit grew by 13%, reaching some US$150,000. At the same time, its revenue increased by 60%, totaling US$2 million.

VietnamWorks

VietnamWorks’ “Empower Growth” campaign won the international PR Awards 2023, Asia’s Leading Technology and Asia’s Excellent and Sustainable Enterprise. Understanding the major changes in workers’ perspectives and expectations since the post-Covid-19 “great labor crisis”, in 2022, the VietnamWorks job site under Navigos Group makes a transformation with a new mission. “Empower Growth”. This mission is guided by Navigos Group’s “Human Growth” philosophy with the purpose of accompanying workers and businesses, building a long-term career path. Ms. Pham Thi Phuong Khanh – Marketing Director of Navigos Group said “Human Growth – comprehensive human development” is the philosophy concluded by Navigos Group after more than two decades of operation in the human resources industry in Vietnam. “This is the mission that affirms our efforts in long-term companionship with businesses and workers to develop comprehensively and find meaning and happiness in work,” she shared. Activities within the framework of “Empower Growth” have been recognized by many international awards. Accordingly, the innovation of applying AI to the story of creating Job Envision (a picture depicting a happy career) received a gold award at the “PR Awards 2023” ceremony, in the “Best Use of Technology” category (roughly translated: The most impressive technology application PR campaign). In November, this innovation continued to be recognized at the awards ceremony in Singapore with the “Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2023” award for technology and technological innovation in Asia by organized by Asian Business Review magazine.

FUNDING

Be Group

Be Group has raised over $30 million from VPBank. This investment will add financial potential to firmly support Be Group to continue promoting its strong development strategy since COVID-19, aiming to become the leading multiservice application in Vietnam and better compete with Grab, their regional rival.

Igloo

Igloo closes $36m Pre-Series C funding round, poised for further expansion in Việt Nam. Igloo’s offerings include Ignite by Igloo, a digital platform that enhances the productivity of sales intermediaries in Việt Nam and Indonesia. “With a low insurance penetration rate of 3.3 per cent, Việt Nam presents significant growth potential for the insurance industry and remains a key market for Igloo,” said Trí Nguyễn, Country Manager Vietnam, Igloo. “The additional funding will empower us to drive initiatives for further expansion in the Vietnamese market, including the introduction of new products and fostering collaborative relationships with partners across verticals,” he added

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

$3 billion fund to develop renewable energy projects in emerging markets including Việt Nam. With a focus on developing and building offshore and onshore wind, solar PV, energy storage and Power-to-X projects in selected high-growth markets across Asia, Latin America and EMEA, including Việt Nam, the Philippines, India, etc., the fund has a target size of US$3 billion. It is expected to deliver renewable energy infrastructure projects reflecting over $10 billion of capital investment. This will enable more than 10 GW of new renewable energy capacity.

Validus Vietnam

Validus Vietnam, a financing platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has secured an investment from Japan’s Reazon Holdings. The sum was not disclosed. This investment into VGrowth Development Co. Ltd., commonly known as Validus Vietnam, signifies a strategic move to support SMEs in the region, which are often hindered by limited access to traditional funding sources.

Through this investment, Reazon Holdings said that it will actively support Validus Vietnam’s business growth, including support for financing procurement through its group network.

VIETNAM TECH AND
STARTUP ENVIRONMENT

“Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has called on global investors to look at Vietnam’s AI, auto and semiconductor industries, saying they are guaranteed government support. He was speaking at a meeting with executives from Google, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Qualcomm, and Siemens in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday where he is attending the World Economic Forum. The meeting, organized by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese embassy in Switzerland and tech giant FPT Group, prioritized discussions about the three sectors.”

“Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast on Tuesday launched a prototype of its new pickup truck, and said it plans to launch its mini-sized VF 3 model globally. VinFast said the electric pickup truck being showcased at the CES 2024 trade show in Las Vegas, VF Wild, is in the mid-size pickup category. It did not disclose a timeframe for its roll-out or its expected driving range. The company also said on Tuesday its four-seater mini-eSUV VF 3, which has a target driving range of more than 125 miles per full charge, will be up for sale globally, having initially been aimed solely at the Vietnamese market.”

“More than 10 universities across Vietnam have introduced courses in integrated circuit design and technology to meet the increasing demand for skills in those fields. The Hanoi University of Science and Technology has announced the setting up of the semiconductor microchip technology department. The Vietnam-Korea University of Information and Communication Technology is calling for applications to IC design courses and offering scholarships covering 50-100% of fees. Last year three member universities of the Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City – the University of Technology, the University of Information Technology, and the University of Natural Sciences – had gotten approvals to set up IC design and semiconductor technology departments.”

“Investors from Singapore and Taiwan wish to invest more than US$20 million in total in two solar power projects in north-central Vietnam’s Quang Tri Province, the provincial Department of Planning and Investment reported on Wednesday. The two foreign investors are Shinfox Energy Co. Ltd. from Taiwan and Camellia Energy Pte. Ltd. from Singapore. Each of them is planning to acquire shares worth VND122.5 billion ($5.05 million) at Gio Thanh Energy Joint Stock Company, a business located in Quang Tri’s Gio Linh District.”

“Dozens of hybrid and pure electric car models are on display at Yen So Park in Hanoi at an exhibition that opened on Saturday. The Electrified Vehicle Exhibition 2024, organized by VnExpress, is the first exhibition held in Vietnam dedicated to electrified vehicles, with the participation of many famous brands.”

“Vietnam aims to be among four leading countries in ASEAN and 50 globally in terms of AI research, development, and application by 2030. It will strive to build 10 prestigious AI trademarks in the region; and develop three major national data and high-performance computing centres. After two years of implementation, the country has achieved significant results with a number of AI products used in all sectors nationwide.”

“Goertek plans to invest US$280 million to set up a new subsidiary in Vietnam as it seeks to expand in the Southeast Asian market. To be based in the northern province of Bac Ninh, it is likely to manufacture headphones, smart watches and virtual reality and augmented reality electronics products, the Chinese company said in a recent filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It hopes to “make better use of local resources in Vietnam to enhance the company’s overall competitiveness.” It has been in Vietnam for 10 years with subsidiaries Goertek Vina and Goertek Technology Vina. In 2022 the latter reported revenues of $2.5 billion and a net profit of $191 million.”

“When he became an engineer for leading semiconductor company Renesas, Tran Dac Khoa did not expect to wait for five years to design his first chip. The job, listed in a daily newspaper, came with a short description about the Japanese-owned company, one of the world’s top 10 chipmakers. In 2004, when Renesas opened an office in Vietnam, there were few other technology companies in the country. “It was a dream job for engineers like me,” Khoa recalls. In the early 2000s, semiconductor was an emerging industry in Vietnam. The arrival of Renesas in 2004 and Intel’s US$1 billion assembly and testing plant opening in 2006 were the catalysts that Vietnam needed to kickstart its semiconductor industry.”

“A brief but revealing panic struck Vietnam this month. On January 12th the country’s 79-year-old leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, failed to meet the visiting president of Indonesia. Mr Trong’s name was removed from the official schedule without explanation. Rumours spread that he was dead. For three days noodle shops raged with speculation about who his successor might be. Would it be someone corrupt? Or more pro-China? The ruling Communist Party, a secretive bunch, revealed nothing. Then, on January 15th, official media showed a frail Mr Trong attending a humdrum session of the legislature in Hanoi, as if to holler “I’m not dead!” like a Monty Python plague victim. The public may never know whether it was sickness or something else that made the party chief disappear from view. But it was unsurprising that his absence should scupper a meeting with a global leader. Everyone wants to be Vietnam’s friend these days.”

KP Aero Industries, a South Korean supplier for Boeing, has received approval to invest $20 million in building a factory in Da Nang City to manufacture components for Boeing 787 and 737 Max aircraft. The permits were issued Thursday by the Management Board of Da Nang Hi-Tech Park and Other Industrial Parks. The factory will produce auxiliary power unit doors, wingboxes, and winglets. Construction is scheduled to start in February and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. KP Aero Industries supplies Korean Air’s engineering division, which directly supplies Boeing. This marks the second aerospace project at Da Nang Hi-Tech Park, following Universal Alloy Corporation Vietnam’s establishment in 2019 to produce and export aircraft parts to North America and Europe.”

“Hyosung Group, a South Korean conglomerate known for its expertise in electrical transformer manufacturing, is planning to inject an additional investment of US$2 billion into Vietnam this year.”

“The U.S. has expressed interest in cooperating with Vietnam in renewable energy and semiconductor chip production.”

VIETNAM FILM AND
MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS

“Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has raised concerns about the prevalence of foreign films in Vietnam, both on television and in cinemas, during the inaugural National Conference on the Development of Cultural Industries. The event, which took place on Dec. 22 and was presided over by the Prime Minister, witnessed participation from numerous governmental departments, UNESCO’s Vietnam representatives, heads of industry organizations, businesses, specialists, and artists. The focus was on the evolution of Vietnam’s cultural sector, including its challenges and potential strategies for improvement.”

“Vocal teacher and singer Ngọc Mai, winner of The Masked Singer Vietnam 2022, has released her latest MV (music video) featuring contemporary folk music. The work features Theo Em Về Nhà (Returning Home), a song that uses Vietnamese folk melodies by young composer Công Tuyền. It is part of the singer’s new album featuring Vietnamese songs about flowers and women. The album is expected to be released next year. Mai worked with her producer, GUNG Production, to record and film the MV with a new style. Vietnamese dances are used to highlight the song’s theme. “My MV showcases a love story of tears and smiles with quality music. I hope to infuse my love for Vietnamese folk music to young fans,” said 36-year-old Mai, who began her career in 2002 in Huế City when she was at university.”

“Jeremy Chua, founder of Singapore-based production company Potocol, produced Vietnamese director Phạm Thiên Ân’s 2023 film Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell. The film won the Camera d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and the Best Asian Feature Film prize at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) earlier this month. At the SGIFF, Lê Hương chatted with Chua about the film and his plans to cooperate with more Vietnamese directors.”

“K-pop idol group TEMPEST performed for thousands of Vietnamese fans at the 2023 HOZO Super Fest in HCMC on Saturday. The group performed a series of hits like “Vroom Vroom”, “Dangerous”, “Can’t Stop Shining”, and “Taste the Feeling”. Member Hyeongseop said the city “feels like home” with the support of thousands of fans.”

“The first HCM City International Film Festival (HIFF) is scheduled to take place in early 2024 and is expected to contribute to the establishment of HCM City as a “film city”. HIFF 2024 is planned to be held from April 6-13, 2024, aiming to discover new talents, nurture young talents in the film industry, and contribute to the development of film in HCM City and Việt Nam as a whole. The films competing at HIFF 2024 will be screened in HCM City, and the winning films will be announced at the award ceremony. Other non-competing films will also be shown in the “Film Gala” programme. Various specialised knowledge training classes conducted by professional filmmakers, directors, actors, and producers will be organised throughout the film festival.”

“Singer My Tam has reached a milestone as the Vietnamese female artist with the most YouTube views, accumulating 1.6 billion. The record was announced on her Facebook account on Wednesday. “I’m thankful to my fans for their constant support, making this achievement possible,” Tam wrote in the accompanying caption. Since launching her YouTube channel on Nov. 20, 2013, Tam has uploaded 481 videos, primarily music videos and behind-the-scenes footage from her concerts and live performances, and gained 2.4 million followers.”

“”The Greatest Night in Pop” by award-winning director Bao Nguyen documents 46 of the biggest names in music coming together to record “We Are the World.” According to Deadline, the documentary revolves around the historic moment on Jan. 25, 1985, when 46 music legends gathered in a Los Angeles studio to record the song “We Are the World,” the sales’ proceeds of which were to be donated to African famine relief programs. Offering a unique perspective with never-before-seen footage and interviews featuring artists who participated in the recording, the documentary chronicles the early planning stages, from the song’s writing sessions with Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, to the recording session’s memorable night at the famed Henson studio.”

“The entertaining software VieON has released its global version, offering a free trial period with numerous features for the first month. The global version of VieON, a part of the DatVietVAC Group Holdings entertainment media technology ecosystem, was unveiled in early 2024, offering loads of benefits. Its mission is to both satisfy the entertainment requirements of Vietnamese nationals residing overseas and promote Vietnamese cultural values globally.”

“Vietnamese animation studio Sconnect on Wednesday announced the launch of Sconnect Academy of Media Arts (SAMA), Vietnam’s first animation and game design school. Sconnect is the producer of the popular cartoon Wolfoo, an animated series first released in 2018 which follows the adventures of a wolf and his friends and family. The Hanoi-based academy’s mission is to train young talents who have a passion for animation and game design and wish to enter Vietnam’s animation workforce. According to People’s Artist and director Pham Ngoc Tuan, the launch of SAMA signals a boom in Vietnam’s animation industry, helping the future animation workforce unlock the industry’s potential.”

“Mai,” directed by comedian Tran Thanh, grabbed ticket revenues of VND100 billion (US$4 million) after just 3 days in cinemas, the fastest in Vietnamese box office history. On the morning of Feb. 13, the movie surpassed the previous record set by “Nha Ba Nu” (Nu’s Family), the 2023 film also by Tran Thanh. According to the Box Office Vietnam, an independent box office monitoring unit, “Mai” had a screening occupancy rate of 43% over its first three days, attracting 850,000 spectators.”

“Apple debuts its first collaboration with a Vietnamese artist, releasing rapper tlinh’s music video “Dung Lam No Phuc Tap” (Don’t Complicate It) Friday. This collaboration is part of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign in Asia.”

“Vietnamese-made films tallied more than VND350 billion in ticket sales in the first nine days of the Lunar New Year, between January 22 and January 30, according to the independent analytical website Box Office Vietnam. “Nha Ba Nu” (The House of No Man) by Tran Thanh pulled in VND251 billion, whereas Vu Ngoc Dang’s “Chi Chi Em Em 2” (Sister Sister 2) saw ticket sales totaling VND58 billion. Tran Thanh’s directorial debut earned VND31 billion on a single day, January 25, with 313,000 tickets sold. According to a representative of Lotte Cinema, a worldwide network of movie theaters, the Vietnamese film industry has recovered 90% this year compared to 2019.Local multiplex operator Galaxy Cinema also reported an increase in moviegoers during the holiday weekend between January 27 and 29, the sixth day to the eighth day of Tet, notably in Hanoi and HCMC ”

STRATEGIC ALLIANCE VIETNAMESE VENTURES INTERNATIONAL

VENTURE CAPITAL ORGANIZATIONS IN VIETNAM

Antler
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
Website:cocooncap.com
Contact:will@cocooncap.com
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
Website:http://gawcapital.com
Contact:info@gawcapital.com
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

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

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
Multi

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/
Contact: INFO@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
Multi

VinaCapital Ventures
Website: https://ventures.vinacapital.com/
Contact: investment.vc@vinacapital.com
Multi

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

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

FILM AND MUSIC ORGANIZATIONS IN VIETNAM

Southern Star Creatives Foundation (SSCF)
Website: https://www.southernstarcreatives.org/
Contact: christianallyn2000@gmail.com 
Type: Nonprofit, film funding, documentary funding, music funding, etc

POPS
Website: https://popsww.com/en/
Contact: https://popsww.com/en/about/#contact-us
Type: Streaming, network, studio.

Bamboo Artists Agency
Website: https://bambooartists.agency/
Contact: +84 79 789 1168
Type: Talent agency.

Xine House
Website: https://www.facebook.com/xinehouse
Contact: we@xinehouse.com
Type: Community, industry education.

Sunwolf Animation Studio
Website: https://www.sunwolfstudio.com/
Contact: leodinh@sunwolfstudio.com
Type: Animation studio

Autumn Meeting
Website: https://www.facebook.com/autumnmeeting
Type: Cinema event.

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

AboutNguyen Phan