[ May 6, 2024 by Nguyen Phan 0 Comments ]

SAVVI NEWSLETTER (APRIL 2024)

newsletter_april_2024

SAVVI HIGHLIGHTS

Founder Spotlight: Nhat Nguyen, Co-Founder of Otrafy

Network News: Marvell, Golden Gate Ventures, SoftBank Ventures Asia, VinaCapital Ventures

Funding: Kamereo, Alterno, Tepbac, CNV

Vietnam Tech and Startup Environment: FDI, Hi Tech Manufacturing, and More

Vietnam Film and Music Industry News: Film Festivals, Awards, International Success, and More

DID YOU KNOW?

Vietnam has more public libraries than every other Southeast Asian country combined Vietnam has the highest density of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the world Vietnam is the second largest exporting nation in Southeast Asia, after Singapore

FOUNDER SPOTLIGHT

Nhat Nguyen, Co-Founder of Otrafy

Nhat Nguyen is a truly resourceful founder, using his two decades of work experience across three countries to masterfully carve Otrafy’s path to success. After less than 5 years into his career, Nhat moved into entrepreneurship when he founded Otrafy, a high growth B2B SaaS workflow platform that leverages AI technologies to address manufacturing challenges. Since then, Nhat has utilized any and all startup support systems he could find to help Otrafy succeed by drawing the attention of investors, raising seed funding, and negotiating an impressive valuation. Some of these support systems include joining one of the top startup accelerators in the world; the Techstars Farm to Fork Program in the USA to gain knowledge and experience to better run and organize his startup, winning the National Innovative Technopreneur Contest, and joining BLOCK 71 – a collaboration between a Singapore university and BECAMEX – a corporation with offices in Singapore and Indonesia.

According to Nhat and his co-founders, Otrafy’s vision is to be the source of truth for real-time food history and safety information by building the data infrastructure to enable the transaction of products between different parties and jurisdictions. They aim to make managing documents easier, make tracing origins effortless, and make life simpler for their customers. This aspiration appeared compatible with the investment strategy of many VCs, making it easier for Otrafy to get their foot in the door and give them a bargaining chip when it came to negotiating the valuation of the startup.

To date, Nhat has orchestrated the design and implementation of an Agile framework at Otrafy, adeptly scaling the company from a 3-person startup to a robust 40-member team, geographically distributed across 3 different continents (US, Vietnam and Brazil) while hiring, training, and leading many of them himself. Since the beginning, he has owned and executed Otrafy products strategy. Most notably, he decided to pivot Otrafy’s technology from blockchain to AI in 2019, significantly broadening their customer base and achieving product-market fit. This involved sunsetting existing products and rehiring of the engineering. Impressively, he also spearheaded the customer discovery process with 30 food manufacturers in the Midwest region within a month. With such dedication and hard work, it is no wonder he was able to raise $1 million pre-seed from angels and another $2 million of seed funding from VCs.

Personally, Nhat’s hobbies include soccer, bouldering and board games. His ultimate goal in life and business is to innovate within the space industry by developing products that address significant challenges through advanced technologies. His personal and business philosophy centers around continuous learning and improvement, both in technology and team dynamics. I basically encourage everyone to adapt a growth mindset. He also recently took on the role at the Space Generation Advisory Council as the National Point of Contact for Vietnam, so anyone interested in doing more to help grow the space industry in Vietnam should feel free to talk to him.

Join us to learn how Nhat raised $1 million pre-seed from angels and another $2 million of seed funding from VCs.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar. When: Apr 25, 2024 02:00 PM Vietnam

Topic: Founder Spotlight: Nhat Nguyen , Raising Seed Funding and VC Valuation

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88425270195?pwd=mF9Kk3hhsONzN5GhartgtdsMWw0HZw.SwBbqRwiCKivBorR

Passcode: 303832

SAVVI NETWORK NEWS

UPDATES

Marvell

Marvell has seen a large boost in value this year, rising about 73%. Why? Signs point to the AI chip craze. Marvell’s expertise is not in GPUs. Although the company develops and sells a diverse set of products, its specialty is in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). Marvell works with a partner, like Amazon’s AWS, to design and develop a bespoke chip to solve a unique problem. Marvell recently hosted its Accelerated Infrastructure for the AI Era Event in New York City. The event featured presentations and a Q&A session with the senior leadership team, including CEO, Matthew Murphy. Much of the event was dedicated to explaining new technologies that Marvell has developed – or is just on the horizon – that will allow the company to better position itself in the AI arms race. As AI technology continues to become more powerful, the hardware driving it becomes more complex. Companies, even mega-caps like Microsoft or Google (Alphabet Inc), often struggle to develop solutions in-house and partnering with Marvell and creating custom ASIC solutions becomes more attractive, even necessary, as the arms race grows. The leadership team also focused on the company’s DSP business and its position as market leader. The technology was, as recently as last year, thought of as starting to become obsolete in the AI space. That sentiment has reversed and they are now expected to continue to play a central role.

Golden Gate Ventures

Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital fund, has on Wednesday announced the appointment of Partner Angela Toy as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). This newly created position reflects Golden Gate Ventures’ commitment to robust expansion and strategic leadership in startup ecosystems as the firm continues to experience swift growth, with presence now across Southeast Asia, Middle East and North America, Golden Gate Ventures said in a statement. In her role as COO, Angela Toy, who is also Partner for Portfolio Growth at Golden Gate Ventures, will play a pivotal role in driving operational excellence, supporting the firm’s expansion initiatives, and fortifying its corporate structure. It is noted that Toy brings to this position a decade of unparalleled dedication and strategic leadership, having been an integral part of Golden Gate Ventures since its inception in 2011, where she served as employee number two. She, who celebrates her 10th anniversary with the firm today, made Partner in mid-2021, assuming a key role in spearheading portfolio growth.

SoftBank Ventures Asia

Style Theory, a platform for renting designer apparel in Indonesia and Singapore, announced today it has raised $15 million in Series B funding. The startup says this is the first closing of the round. It was led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, the early-stage venture arm of SoftBank Group, with participation from other investors, including Alpha JWC Ventures and the Paradise Group. Both SoftBank Ventures Asia and Alpha JWC Ventures are returning investors, having previously participated in Style Theory’s Series A. Founded in 2016 by Raena Lim and Chris Halim to counteract the waste created by fast fashion, Style Theory currently has more than 50,000 pieces of clothing and 2,000 designer bags in its inventory. In addition to its app, the company opened a flagship store on Orchard Road in Singapore last month. On average, Style Theory’s subscribers rent up to 20 pieces of clothing and two designer bags a month and it has delivered more than one million items since launching, its founders say. In a press release, SoftBank Ventures Asia senior partner Sean Lee said, “Fashion has emerged as one of the last frontiers of the sharing economy, and with an attractive business model, Style Theory has proven that the company can change the way people consume fashion in Southeast Asia. I am excited to support Style Theory’s expansion across the region as well as continuous disruption.”

VinaCapital Ventures

VinaCapital Ventures, the technology investment vehicle of VinaCapital Group, has announced its investment in Quickom, a Vietnam-based video conferencing communication provider with proprietary and US-patented technology. It is leading the current 1.5 million USD seed funding round. Quickom was founded in 2021 by Dr. William H. Nguyen, a Vietnamese technology pioneer and serial entrepreneur with a history of successful ventures in communication technology, education, computer network and data security, serving tens of millions of users worldwide. Hoang Duc Trung, Partner at VinaCapital Ventures, said: “Vietnam is quickly closing the gap in terms of technological advancement and the digital transformation of the economy is well underway. Quickom is a perfect example of one of the startups leading the way. Its solutions are innovative and advanced, addressing important current issues such as cyber security and data privacy as well as future cyberspace threats. We are thrilled to be one of Quickom’s early investors and are excited to see where they take the business”

FUNDING

Kamereo

KAMEREO, Vietnam’s pioneering B2B food sourcing platform, is set to transform the country’s culinary landscape following a substantial investment of $2.1 million in pre-Series B funding. Since its inception in 2019, the company has experienced a remarkable average annual sales growth rate of over 300%, solidifying its position as a key player in Vietnam’s food supply B2B ecommerce sector. The recent funding round, co-led by Reazon Holdings, Inc., Quest Ventures, and Thoru Yamamoto, CEO of FOODISON, marks a significant milestone for the company, bringing its total funding to $7.2 million.

Alterno

Vietnamese battery startup Alternō has successfully secured over $1.5 million in an oversubscribed round co-led by leading impact and venture capital funds The Radical Fund (Singapore) and Touchstone Partners (Vietnam). Alternō said in a statement on Tuesday that the round also saw participation from Antler (Vietnam), Impact Square (Korea), and Glocalink (Singapore) along with grants from international organizations, surpassing its initial seed funding target. Alternō is a firm that provides an innovative thermal energy storage solution utilizing sand battery technology tailored for agricultural applications across drying, warming, or heating needs. This patented technology comprises insulated sand with custom heat-conducting tubes.

Tepbac

In Vietnam, one startup is looking to emulate eFishery’s success. Tepbac – which serves 5,000 shrimp farmers in three southern provinces Long An, Ca Mau, and Bac Lieu – is seeking US$10 million to US$20 million in funding to scale its business. CEO and founder Duy Phong Tran, whose family has been shrimp farmers for over 25 years in Bac Lieu, established Tepbac in 2012. Initially, it was just an informational website where farmers can get advice about sustainable shrimp farming practices and technology applications. Tran stated that Tepbac’s revenue in 2023 reached approximately 10 billion dong (US$395,500). The startup offers its IoT device package at around US$2,770 and a Farmnext subscription of US$82 per year.

CNV

CNV, a Vietnamese cloud-based business and marketing solutions provider, has secured US$1 million in seed funding from US- and Singapore-headquartered VC firm Wavemaker Partners. Last week, CNV said its latest funding comes after the company’s “stellar performance” in 2022 and 2023. The company particularly highlighted 2023 as an important milestone in its development for the launch of its Zalo mini apps – which created an app-in-app experience that enabled businesses to acquire users at lower costs and engage them in a “deeper and more seamless manner.” CNV counts multinational corporations, SMEs, and government agencies among its 20,000 customers.

VIETNAM TECH AND
STARTUP ENVIRONMENT

“Vietnam’s trade ministry said on Thursday that automaker Chery had signed a joint venture agreement with a local company to set up an $800 million plant, becoming the first Chinese electric vehicle maker to set up a facility in Vietnam. The manufacturing plant, which will be jointly established by Chery’s Omoda&Jaecoo unit and Vietnamese company Geleximco, will be in the costal province of Thai Binh, the ministry said in a statement following a signing ceremony.”

“U.S.-based Warburg Pincus, a leading global growth investor, announced on Monday its investment in Ho Chi Minh City-based Xuyen A (Trans-Asia), a major private general hospital group. The investment size has yet to be revealed but Warburg Pincus said it is currently the largest global private equity investor in Vietnam. The firm’s investment in Xuyen A, with its full English name being Trans-Asia Hospital Investment Joint Stock Company, underscores its focus on Vietnam’s rapidly emerging healthcare sector, Warburg Pincus said on its website on Monday.”

“Japan’s Meiko Electronics Co. Ltd. has turned the first sod at an electronic printed circuit board (PCB) factory in Hoa Binh Province with a total investment of US$200 million, the fifth of its kind established by the company in Vietnam. The firm conducted a broundbreaking ceremony for the PCB factory in Bo Trai Song Da Industrial Park in the namesake city of the province on Saturday, in the presence of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Meiko Electronics director and executive vice-president Atsushi Sakate, and other participants.

Covering an area of 9.2 hectares, the factory will be built at an estimated cost of VND4.66 trillion ($200 million), according to Meiko.”

“Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Tuesday requested Apple CEO Tim Cook to make Vietnam the company’s manufacturing hub for its global markets. Chinh told Cook at the Government Office in Hanoi that he appreciated Apple’s expansion in Vietnam in recent years which created 200,000 jobs. He urged the company to support Vietnam in green production manufacturing and clean energy production, while also developing a highskilled labor force to establish the country as its manufacturing hub. The PM promised to establish a task force to support Apple’s operations in Vietnam. Cook said that he was having a “wonderful” trip in Vietnam where he had met with many local developers. He added that he wanted to increase partnership and high-quality investment in the country.”

“Growing up, I wasn’t very aware of Vietnam. I never saw tourism ads for the country, at least not in the same way I did for places like Malaysia and India (Malaysia Truly Asia and Incredible India, anyone?). Vietnamese food also wasn’t as popular or easy to find in the malls I frequented. Now, that’s all changed. Vietnam’s come up on the global stage on all fronts, and its startup scene in particular is in the limelight. Some investors are seeing it as the third major startup market in Southeast Asia, after Singapore and Indonesia.”

“The military-run telecom service provider Viettel on April 10 inaugurated its data centre in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi – one of the largest data centres in Vietnam so far. The new centre has racks with a capacity of three times higher than the average in Vietnam. It meets the development trend of artificial intelligence (AI) with high-performance computer chips to increase computing ability ”

VIETNAM FILM AND
MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS

“During a 15-minute meeting the two discussed the Vietnamese music scene and the singer’s career trajectory. Suboi played her song, which highlights the societal pressures faced by Vietnamese women to conform. Cook, after listening to the song on Apple headphones, exclaimed it was “so great” and that he absolutely loved it. Suboi, who lives in HCMC, made her way to Hanoi on Sunday following an invitation from Apple. She believed it would be a standard company gathering and was surprised to learn Cook would be attending. She did not do much preparation since she preferred their interaction to unfold naturally, she said.

The meeting was held in a Hanoi studio, where Viet Max, a pioneering Vietnamese hip-hop artist, welcomed Cook and introduced him to local talent.”

“Over 200 Vietnamese and foreign filmmakers, visitors, and artists have gathered at the first ever HCM City International Film Festival 2024 (HIFF 2024), which runs from April 6-13. The event will give awards to outstanding Vietnamese and foreign movies, host multiple relevant activities, and promote the film industry. There are three main competition categories, including Southeast Asian, debut and short films, with relevant awards such as Golden Star for the best Southeast Asian film, Best Emerging Director, Best short film, and HCM City film. There are also personal awards for directors, actors, actresses, cinematographers, editors, and visual effects.

The festival has received over 400 entries, 56 film projects for Chợ dự án (Project Market) and 87 scripts for Vườn ươm kịch bản Việt (VietScript Lab).”

“This is the first time a Vietnamese film has obtained the highest award at an Asian Film Festival in Italy. Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Duong Hai Hung described this award as a great honour for the entire crew and thanked them for helping affirm the development of Vietnam’s cinematography in the international arena. The film is about a journey of a young man tasked with delivering his sister-in-law’s body to their countryside hometown after a tragic motorcycle accident. Amidst the mystical landscapes of rural Vietnam, he begins a search for his older brother, who vanished years ago. The Asian Film Festival in Italy features new and the best works from East Asia. It is also an occasion for guests, including directors, actors/actresses, and producers, from different countries to meet Italian producers and distributors to seek cooperation chances.”

“The Vietnamese music scene is getting a serious boost, and guess who’s leading the charge? Yep, it’s our talented female artists! From catchy pop hits to fiery rap verses, these ladies are shaking things up and leaving their mark. But it’s not just about the music—it’s about their drive, talent, and determination to succeed. And here’s the best part: they’re not just making waves locally; they’re putting Vietnam on the global stage. Keep an eye out for the latest sensation. She is not just gaining international recognition; she is proudly embracing her Vietnamese roots!”

“In the music video, viewers can enjoy the skilled sounds of the saxophone played to a familiar tune by Kenny G while being treated to visuals of culturally and historically significant locations in Hanoi and throughout the country, including Long Bien bridge at dawn, Hoan Kiem lake on the year-end days, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long and the Temple of Literature. Speaking at the event, Editor-in-Chief of the Nhan Dan Newspaper Le Quoc Minh said this was the first time the newspaper has engaged in popularising Vietnamese tourism.”

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