[ May 6, 2024 by Nguyen Phan 0 Comments ]

SAVVI NEWSLETTER (MARCH 2024)

2024_march

SAVVI HIGHLIGHTS

Founder Spotlight: Ryvid Founders

Network News: Infina, JK Technologies, Gaw Capital Partners, Jungle Ventures

Funding: NativeX, BlokID, 1Long, Quickom

Vietnam Tech and Startup Environment: Foreign Acquisitions, Investments, Governmental Decrees, and More

Vietnam Film and Music Industry News: Industry Growth, The Most Popular Vietnamese Film of All Time, Trends, Culture, and More

DID YOU KNOW?

Within 10 years, Vietnam’s stock exchange will be among the world’s top 20 largest Within 5 years, Vietnam will be in the top 10 largest exporters of goods to Australia Vietnamese agricultural exports are among the fastest growing in the world

FOUNDER SPOTLIGHT

Founders of Ryvid

Founded by enthusiasts, engineered by innovators, and designed by aerospace industry gearheads, Ryvid was formed by a desire to change the way the world lives, works, and plays through the use of efficient light electric vehicles. At the heart of the company lies four fundamental pillars that define its essence: the unwavering commitment to accessibility, the deep-rooted sense of community, the relentless pursuit of innovation, and the steadfast dedication to sustainability.

Ryvid has recently received a $20 million grant from the California state government, where its products are designed and assembled, with headquarters in Hawaiian Gardens and production in San Bernardino.

Founder and CEO, Dong Tran, is a transportation designer, avid motorcyclist, and gearhead with a passion for innovation and advanced engineering/manufacturing techniques. After graduating with honors from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, he worked at General Motors, BMW DesignWorks USA, and Toyota’s Tokyo-based Design Laboratory, followed by Honda R&D where he focused on the Civic, NSX, and a Honda EV. Tran expanded into aerospace at ICON Aircraft, where he served as lead designer on the award-winning A5 amphibious aircraft, followed by a design head position at a stealth EVTOL start-up through his design consulting company. Tran’s passion for light vehicles stems from his roots as a car and motorbike builder from a very young age, lending him a unique perspective on Ryvid and the future of transportation. Tran says, “Seeing the Ryvid Anthem in my garage gets me emotionally charged. Ryvid is going to have a huge impact on how people view light electric vehicles.”

CXO – Vincent Nguyen – A first-generation Vietnamese American and California native, Vincent is a graduate of California Polytechnic University, Pomona. His career spans multiple industries, particularly within aviation manufacturing and production environments.

CTO – Vinh Tran – A Vietnamese American immigrant, Vinh is a graduate of The California Maritime Academy and the University of California, Irvine. He spent most of his engineering career in some of the California Bay Area’s most influential companies.

SAVVI NETWORK NEWS

UPDATES

Infina
South Korea-based JB Financial Group is securing a 3.9% stake in Infina, a retail investing app based in Vietnam, The Korean Herald reported. With the deal, JB Financial aims to facilitate its further expansion in the Southeast Asian country. The company already has a presence there with a brokerage unit called JB Securities Vietnam. JB Financial’s acquisition is subject to increase to 5% depending on the results of collaboration between JB Securities Vietnam and Infina. Hanoi-based JB Securities Vietnam offers financial services such as stock brokerage and corporate bond issuance management. Infina, on the other hand, allows users to invest through a wide range of products, including fixed-income instruments, mutual funds, and stocks. The deal to acquire a part of Infina is the latest in a string of JB Financial deals in the fintech space. It signed an investment agreement to acquire a 15% stake in Hanpass, a Korean firm offering international remittance services, in December 2023. Earlier that year, JB Financial had also participated in the US$36 million series C round of Finda – a loan brokerage and management company – alongside 500 Global.

JK Technologies

During the Tet Lunar New Year celebration, JK Technologies partnered with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism to bring visitors of Nguyen Hue Walking Street an unforgettable experience; several augmented reality dragons all along the tourist hotspot. Through this partnership, JK Technologies was able to achieve over 15,000 users in just a few days for its newly released app, SeensioGo. The app is part of the company‘s plan to solve the problem of a significant, growing, and unmet demand for mixed reality experiences in social commerce which is caused by the growing accessibility and decrease in price of extended reality hardware. To accelerate this ambition and maintain its position as the number one augmented reality lifestyle platform in Vietnam, the company looks to raise additional funding this year.

Gaw Capital Partners

Gaw Capital Partners, one of Hong Kong’s biggest real estate private-fund management firms, is focusing on logistics in Vietnam and Mexico, as well as the artificial intelligence (AI) sector bailing out distressed office assets in the United States, amid challenges to an economic recovery in mainland China. The US-China trade tensions could continue to be an issue for the next 10 to 15 years, said Goodwin Gaw, the firm’s founder and managing principal. “I want to invest in countries that are the biggest beneficiaries of ‘China plus one’ [strategy],” Gaw said. China plus one seeks diversification for manufacturers by reducing reliance on the mainland as a production base. The world’s second-largest economy is also the largest manufacturer globally, with the most extensive supply chains. Vietnam, India and Mexico are seen as countries most likely to capture business from China. “Vietnam and Mexico are easier as these two countries welcome [Chinese firms] setting up production facilities,” Gaw said. “But India doesn’t like domestic investment from China. “The biggest beneficiaries will be those who allow Chinese factories to open up and hire local labour to produce the same goods for foreign clients.”

Jungle Ventures

The Ayurveda Experience (TAE), a direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup focussing on Ayurvedic products, on Friday, said it has raised $27 million in its series C funding round, led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures. Last month, Mint was the first to report that the company is looking to secure additional funds. TAE plans to use the funds to deepen its presence in existing markets, improve customer engagement on its platform, ramp up product R&D, and scale new avenues for distribution, according to a company statement. “We are focused towards optimizing the fundamentals of the business with a long-term view to build a sturdy, sustainable business,” founder and chief executive of TAE, Rishabh Chopra, said in the statement. With the latest round, TAE has so far raised a total of $41 million, as per the release. Early investors in the company include Fireside Ventures and Riverwalk Holdings. Founded in 2010, TAE operates across North America, Europe, Canada, Australia, and India. It offers a variety of Ayurvedic products through four proprietary lines: iYURA, Ajara, A Modernica Naturalist, and Ayuttva. These products are manufactured, sold, and distributed via its platform, along with a range of services including consultations, content, webinars, and courses on Ayurveda. The company claims to have a global sales footprint in 20 countries, including India, with over 97% of its sales coming directly from its app and website. “As India continues to assert itself on the global stage, a distinctive opportunity arises for our entrepreneurs to establish global brands with uniquely Indian flavours. The remarkable accomplishments of TAE’s team, achieving a sizable scale with minimal resources are truly commendable,” Arpit Beri, partner at Jungle Ventures.

FUNDING

NativeX

Established in April 2023, the online English-learning platform offers live classes taught by foreign experts. The edtech startup has recently wrapped up its seed round by raising US$2.5 million, which brought the total to US$4 million. Ansible Ventures and Blueprint Ventures co-led the round, with participation from Northstar Ventures and other investors. Planning to spend 80% of the new funds on product enhancement, NativeX is preparing to launch a dual learning program in June. It is going to combine English conversation lessons and soft skills training, said Ai Chau, co-founder and academic head at NativeX.

BlokID

BlokID, a Vietnam-based developers of blockchain-powered privacy protection solutions for the digital advertising industry, has on Wednesday announced the completion of a $1.25 million seed round of financing led by Ascend Vietnam Ventures (AVV) and AppWorks. BlokID said in a statement that with this round of financing, BlokID will accelerate product development, focus on user acquisition, and initiate market expansion—with an outlook to launch by the second quarter of 2024. Founded in July 2023, BlokID is a next-generation developer of privacy protection solutions for the digital advertising industry, leveraging blockchain technology to bring an independent, immutable source of truth to digital advertising.

1Long

Vietnam-based 1Long, an advanced financial technology platform focused on helping individuals achieve financial goals, today announces securing a US$500,000 investment in a pre-seed round. The funding, contributed by major investors including Iterative, Monk’s Hill Ventures, R2VP, and Orionis Capital, reflects the confidence key industry players have in 1Long’s innovative approach to wealth management. The new capital will be channeled into technology development, partnerships with asset managers and financial institutions, and strategic team expansion.

Quickom

VinaCapital Ventures, the technology investment vehicle of VinaCapital Group, has announced its investment in Quickom, a Việt Nam-based video conferencing communication provider with proprietary and US-patented technology. It is leading the current US$1.5 million 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.

VIETNAM TECH AND
STARTUP ENVIRONMENT

“Tech giant FPT Corp has bought its first company in Japan as it seeks to strengthen its position in the market. The acquisition of IT services firm Next Advance Communications enables FPT to benefit from a talent pool of 300 engineers with expertise in technology, architecture design, system planning, and other areas, the company said in a statement Friday. FPT hopes to achieve US$1-billion revenues in Japan by 2027 and have foreigners make up more than half of its payroll there. The acquisition of the 13-year-old company reflects FPT’s commitment to assisting Japanese businesses achieve digital transformation and green transformation.”

“Financing remains one of the challenges for SMEs in Southeast Asia. Many of them remain underserved due to difficulties in obtaining financing because of strict collateral requirements and complex screening processes. Validus, a Singapore-based fintech firm, aims to tackle the issue. It uses data analytics, AI, and supply-chain partnerships to provide financing for SMEs in the region. To support its business growth in Vietnam, which it entered in 2019, the company has secured a new investment from Japanese firm Reazon Holdings. The amount was undisclosed.”

“Pham Nhat Vuong, founder of Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast, has launched a new venture that would focus on developing and deploying an EV charging station ecosystem that “prioritizes supporting VinFast vehicles.” Called V-Green, the new company will invest nearly US$404 million over the next two years to build new stations, upgrade and complete VinFast’s existing charging infrastructure, and oversee the stations’ operations and management. Vuong, who is also the Vietnamese billionaire behind local conglomerate Vingroup, holds a 90% stake in V-Green – which is spun off from VinFast’s charging station development division.”

“Under Decree 10/2024, which is effective from March 25, 2024, investors venturing into infrastructure projects within high-tech parks will enjoy a range of benefits, including exemptions from land lease fees and reimbursement for land clearance expenses. Additionally, preferential interest rates on loans and access to capital within established legal frameworks will be made available to support these endeavors.”

“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.”

“Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has stressed the need to adopt appropriate strategies to attract and retain investments given the growing interest in Vietnam of global technology giants. He was speaking at a Government meeting held in Hanoi today, March 2, which reviewed the nation’s socioeconomic performance in February and the first two months of this year. PM Chinh said international corporations and investors needed a more enabling business environment and that Vietnam should be promoted as an attractive hub for high-tech companies. During the meeting, Government ministers said there emerged positive drivers for Vietnam’s economy early this year, including a robust agricultural sector, a rebound in industrial output, and a big improvement in tourism. However, challenges such as potential macroeconomic instability and a sluggish real estate market persist, they said.”

VIETNAM FILM AND
MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS

“Deadline.com, a US premier news source covering the business of entertainment, including movies, television, online, digital and related areas, has described Vietnam as one of Asia’s fastest-growing cinema markets. In an article entitled “How Vietnam Has Become One Of Asia’s Fastest Growing Markets With New Multiplexes, A MovieHungry Audience & Vibrant Local Film Biz” published on February 23, Liz Shackleton wrote that some Vietnamese film-makers shared their views to draw a positive bright outlook for Vietnam’s film industry.”

“Mai,” directed by comedian Tran Thanh, has collected VND500 billion ($20.25 million), surpassing his 2023 superhit “Nha Ba Nu” (The House of No Man) as the highest grossing Vietnamese movie ever. According to Box Office Vietnam, the milestone was reached on the afternoon of March 1, 20 days after the movie hit theaters as “Mai” dominated the box office. The distributor of “Mai,” CJ, said the film has sold 5.5 million tickets. Thanh is overjoyed at the reception since, due to its 18+ rating and a dramatic plot that deviates from the usual Tet comedy, he did not expect it to be such a blockbuster. Notably, he now holds the distinction of directing the three biggest ever hits in Vietnam. “Nha Ba Nu” collected VND475 billion, and the third, “Bo Gia” (Dad, I’m Sorry), grossing VND417 billion.”

“Singers and musicians from the South will appear in a new talk show on Hồ Chí Minh Television (HTV) this week. The show, called Trò Chuyện Cùng Thời Gian (Stories of Time), features Vietnamese music and songs by famous artists. The artists will share and discuss various topics related to Vietnamese music as well as their careers. Their stories will be in the form of an interview or simple conversation hosted by producer Tùng Leo.
The first episode on March 8 highlighted pop star Cẩm Vân.”

“The Vietnamese pavilion left a strong impression on international visitors at an exhibition held within the framework of the World Youth Festival 2024, which is currently taking place in Sochi, Russia. Coming from the Russian city of Tula, Russian youngster Liza and her friends are excited to attend the World Youth Festival 2024 and explore new things from different culture. Amidst a space covered with sounds and cultural colours, she was attracted by the beautiful sound of the Vietnamese ‘dan nhi’ (two-string fiddle). While feeling the melodies she had never heard before in her life, Liza told the members the Vietnam Music and Dance Theatre that she wanted to try playing the instrument.”

“Vietnamese rap has evolved beyond a fleeting trend, solidifying its presence in the music scene. Instead of merely imitating Western styles, Vietnamese rappers craft a unique identity rooted in local experiences and culture. Their original works resonate not only with the artists themselves but also with their local community. The genre’s burgeoning popularity and the increasing recognition of Vietnamese artists, both locally and internationally, underscore its cultural significance. The distinction between a trend and a culture lies in longevity, impact, and community engagement. While a trend enjoys temporary popularity and fades, a culture endures with deep roots in a community or society. It encompasses shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that society members use to interact with their world and one another.”

“The popular Vietnamese movie “Mai” will be screened in several foreign markets from March 22, including the United States, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Slovakia, according to local film producer-director Tran Thanh.”

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