All the latest news about Viet tech, startups, founders, investors, and unique investment opportunities
Issue 7, April 2023
Founder Spotlight: Hung Nguyen, Founder and Chairman of LogiGear
Big Event Upcoming: TECx 2023
Network News: Dat Bike, Do Ventures, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Patamar Capital
Funding: MindX, Stringee, VPBank, Bamboo Airways
Vietnam Tech and Startup Environment Economic Growth, FDI, Tax Incentives, Key Industries, and More
DID YOU KNOW?
Vietnam maintains the lowest public debt of all Southeast Asian countries By 2050, Vietnam will have one of the top 10 largest green economies in the world Vietnam is likely to be in the top 15 most powerful countries in the world by 2040
BIG EVENT UPCOMING
TECx is the premier event celebrating the convergence of technology and the arts. Remarkable advances in AI, machine learning, VR/AR, Metaverse, Geoverse, Blockchain, Biotech, Edtech, Agitech, CleanTech, Robotics, among many other technologies, will revolutionize the human experience. Will PE-type investments accelerate this revolution and capitalize on Vietnam’s ascending growth?
The eighth installation of TECx 2023 highlights how these technologies impact the creative arts and
dive into whether these industries will benefit from PE investments. At the forefront of these technologies is AI, which has rapidly advanced in the past decade, allowing for the creation and manipulation of visual art, including film and TV content. Should AI stories be granted originality for purposes of copyright protection? Who owns such works and how can they be distributed? How about AI-generated characters and voices? The impact of AI in the film and TV industry will be profound.
Similarly, music continues to undergo major changes in production and distribution via technology,
including musical composition and performance in the metaverse. The event will explore several business models for music, in various formats, venues, and metaverse media. Our speakers will also address whether existing licensing, contract, marketing, and other related laws will be applicable in the virtual space or if new regulations will need to be created.
Along with substantive business discussions, the event will feature special sessions for aspiring artists
and other stakeholders in the tech, film and music industries. Everyone is invited to experience this
major Media, Music and Motion event. Attendees will enjoy a truly unique experience unlike any other tech event in Vietnam!
Hung Nguyen, Founder and Chairman of LogiGear
Hung came to the US in 1983 as a boat refugee. With just a high school diploma, he arrived in San Francisco with no money. He spent the next ten years working odd jobs. He worked full-time and put himself through college part-time.
After nine years of part-time schooling, he finished his undergraduate degree at a small Silicon Valley-based private school, Cogswell Polytechnic College in 1992. At the time, he was also pioneering the art and science of software testing (a subject that probably not many people cared about). Hung is the author and co-author of several well-known and top-selling publications in the field. Early in his career, he was privileged to work with, then a startup, Electronic Arts, led by Trip Hawkins (founder of Electronic Arts), followed by another startup, US Robotics / Palm Computing, led by Jeff Hawkins (co-founder of Palm Computing, PalmPilot, Handspring, and Treo)
and Donna Dubinsky (former CEO of Palm, Inc. and co-founder of Handspring).
After also serving in technical leadership roles in a few other software companies, he founded LogiGear with headquarters in San Mateo, California in 1994.
Following the creation of LogiGear, the company grew exponentially in the dot.com era. In 2000, he completed an executive education program with the Stanford Graduate School of Business, anticipating further growth at LogiGear. The opposite happened. The dotcom companies busted and so did many of LogiGear’s customers. LogiGear lost almost everything like many other companies in Silicon Valley at the time.
In 2004/5, Hung came full circle and returned to Vietnam. He invested and opened LogiGear Vietnam with offices in Saigon, Danang and Hue, where 700 of its software engineers work today. Hung successfully led the development and launch of a series of Made-in-Vietnam test automation products including TestArchitect and TestArchitect for Visual Studio.
As it grew again, LogiGear acquired a few companies around the world. Hung eventually sold LogiGear to a Japanese public company, Digital Hearts. As of end of 2022, he has stepped out as CEO of LogiGear, but continues to serve as chairman of the board. Nowadays. he manages LogiGear part-time by day, and pursues his passion for music in evening. In between, he finds time to mentor young entrepreneurs. Guess what instrument he plays? Join us on April 27 and find out.
SAVVI NETWORK NEWS
At the discussion session at the Vietnam Innovation Forum 2023, Mr. Nguyen Ba Canh Son – founder and CEO of Dat Bike – shared about how this startup flexibly improves and overcomes challenges in the business context of economic fluctuations. Accordingly, Dat Bike is not under pressure in the short term and is growing steadily, but this business is always cautiously observing the market. “Most startups want to change the world in some way (through long-term goals), however, resources are finite factors, so in the face of difficulties, businesses need to prioritize short-term or long-term goals,” said Mr. Son. The founder of Dat Bike also shared about the plan to launch models that can bring 10x growth to the company. “In fact, in 2021 and 2022, Dat Bike both recorded a growth rate of 10 times the previous year,” said Mr. Son. However, according to him, to achieve its goal of changing the world from gas cars to electric cars, this startup needs several times like that 10 times growth. “Profit has never been Dat Bike’s number one priority. With the goal of changing the world, short-term profits are not so important. But each car sold still has to be profitable, to prove this business model is effective,” said Mr. Son. Regarding the fundraising process, all of Dat Bike’s capital so far, from 200,000 USD to several million USD, is focused on two things: better product research and improving production scale and access. client.”
Filipino fintech Advance has successfully secured $16 million in a pre-Series A funding led by Do Ventures out of Vietnam and Lendable, a technology-enabled investment and debt provider to fintechs in emerging markets. New investors Phoenix Holdings, Kaya Founders, Foxmont Capital, Oyster Ventures, and Crossocean Ventures, as well as existing investors Wavemaker Partners, Next Billion Ventures, Integra Partners, and Accion Venture Lab also participated in the round. Along with the fresh funding, Advance announced that it has expanded into Vietnam with the acquisition of a counterpart platform there. With this latest raise, Advance will introduce more innovative financial products and offer its services to more partners in the Philippines and Vietnam. The firm just acquired BravoHr, a Vietnam-based platform that provides digital solutions for employee engagement, benefits, and rewards. “Given the similarities between the financial landscapes of Vietnam and the Philippines, we are positive that the team will be able to apply its playbook to Vietnam’s untapped market and help improve the financial well-being of millions of Vietnamese employees,” said Vy Le, Co-Founder and General Partner of Do Ventures.
Monk’s Hill Ventures
Singapore-based Monk’s Hill Ventures said it will write checks worth between US$2 million and US$10 millionvia its third fund, which it recently closed. The US$200 million third fund will be used to scout regional tech-enabled startups that are in the series A stage, the VC firm told Tech in Asia. Kuo-Yi Lim , co-founder andmanaging partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures, said capital from the third fund had already been deployed toecommerce firms Rainforest and Upmesh, digital health firms Hannah Life, Ordinary Folk, and Novi Health,among others. According to SEC filings , the Singapore-based investor was initially looking to raise US$150million for the fund. It’s not a surprise that overall funding in Southeast Asia has been off to a slow start. Therewere only 47 funding rounds, totaling US$220 million, in January this year – marking the lowest amount ofcapital secured in a month in the last five years. Lim previously told Tech in Asia that amid slowinginvestments, Monk’s Hill “won’t do more deals just because they’re cheaper.”
Mapan , an Indonesia-based FinTech startup, announced Tuesday it has closed a successful Series A round of$15 million co-led by Patamar Capital and PT Astra Digital International, a subsidiary of PT Astra InternationalTbk (Astra). The round also saw participation from Indonesian giants BRI Ventures, SMDV, Blibli, PrasetiaDwidharma, and global venture capital firms Flourish Ventures and 500 Global, Mapan said in a statement. The fresh funds will be deployed to grow product range, expand customer reach, and driving financial inclusionthrough the introduction of products that remove barriers and provide access to financing. “We love Mapan’sunique approach to amplify the power of women in the communities. The concept of Arisan has been core toIndonesian culture for many years, and by digitising it, Mapan brought scalability to the age-old practice. We areexcited to play our part in Mapan’s next phase of growth, as it looks to improve financial access and the qualityof lives of Indonesians,” said Patamar Capital Partner Dondi Hananto.
MindX, a startup that offers training in technology and programming, has received a US$15 million investment from a group of international funds in the Series B round. The funding round was led by Singaporean fund Kaizenvest, which has invested in many famous startups in the field of education technology (edtech), including unicorns Byju’s and upGrad in India, and Yola English Center in Vietnam.
Communication platform startup Stringee has just announced it will receive Series A capital from Vietnam Growth Investment Fund DAIWA-SSIAM III. Before the participation of DSVGF, this communication programming platform startup received capital from Zone Startups Ventures Fund (Canada) and 2 million USD in the Pre-series A round, helping the business grow up to 400%. Stringee is serving more than 1000 enterprise customers with 55 million end users. With this capital, it will put all its efforts in product development to new heights to support Vietnamese businesses in digitizing communication and customer care processes, and at the same time deploying business in the US and Indian markets.
Japanese lender SMBC has completed a $1.5 billion deal to purchase a 15% stake in Vietnam’s VPBank in the biggest acquisition ever recorded in Vietnam’s banking industry. The $1.5 billion price tag is the biggest amount ever recorded to acquire a stake in a Vietnamese lender. Before VPBank, BIDV sold a 15% stake to KEB Hana Bank for over VND20 trillion ($850.6 million) in 2019. SMBC’s investment will increase VPBank’s capital by 35% to VND140 trillion, the second biggest in the industry behind Vietcombank.
Bamboo Airways plans to make a rights issue of shares to increase its capital by 54%, or nearly VND10 trillion (US$425.44 million), to fund operations and pay off debts. It will offer 35 new shares for every 100 held and the issuance will be made this year. It currently has a charter capital of VND18.5 trillion. The proposal will be presented to shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting on Apr. 10. The airline has said it has found a buyer to take it over.
VIETNAM TECH AND
Samsung says Vietnam is ‘global manufacturing hub’
“Samsung considers Vietnam a global manufacturing hub and wants to make it a center of research and innovation, the South Korean giant’s CFO, Park Hark Kyu, has said. In a meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, he said he highly regarded Vietnam’s investment and business environment and Samsung wants to make Vietnam the “center of centers” for research and development.”
Government approves tax extensions to boost economy
“The government has extended the payment deadlines for value-added and income taxes and land rents for a fifth time to support the economy amid the global headwinds.
Extensions of three to six months will be given for VAT incurred between March and August. Priority sectors such as agriculture, forestry, seafood, food processing, garment, construction, transportation, and logistics will see the VAT and personal income tax dates extended to Dec. 31.”
President calls for sustainable Vietnamese business in
“President Vo Van Thuong has asked the Vietnamese community in Laos to set its sights on long-term sustainable business growth even though weathering current short-term difficulties will be difficult.”
Vietnam’s GDP growth forecast to rank second in ASEAN
“Vietnam’s GDP is projected to grow 5.8% this year, sharing the second position with Cambodia in the region, only after the Philippines, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Notably, Vietnam’s public debt is expected to stay at the lowest as compared with eight other ASEAN member countries, the fund said.”
Vietnam’s food industry enjoying vigorous growth:
“Vietnam’s food industry is growing strongly thanks to people’s improved income, increased purchasing power, and the supply of diverse and highly competitive products, an official told a policy dialogue in Hanoi on April 13.”
Green economy helps Mekong Delta increase
competitiveness of farm produce
“The Mekong Delta region needs to sketch out a direction for sustainable, safe and long-term agriculture development, thus promoting the development of the green economy and enhancing the competitiveness of local farm products, said insiders.”
LinkedIn (SAVVi Community):
STRATEGIC ALLIANCE VIETNAMESE VENTURES INTERNATIONAL
venture capital organizations
Pre-seed to Seed
Ascend Vietnam Ventures
Pre-product market fit
Seed Round, Series A, Series A
AI, Enterprise Application, Fintech, Insurtech, SaaS, Machine Learning
East Bridge Partners
Gaw Capital Partners
Real estate sector
Golden Gate Ventures
Early stage, series A, B
Tooling, consumer apps, SaaS, logistics, e-commerce
Seed to series A
Pre-seed, seed, series A
Monk’s Hill Ventures
Seed to Series A
SoftBank Ventures Asia
Enterprise Software, Mobile
Seed, pre-series A
Fintech, Edtech, Logistics, Ecommerce, Nanotech, Lifestyle, Service
Early to growth-stage
Solution-oriented companies and transformative founders across sectors and stages.
Vietnam Investments Group
Early-stage to expansion capital
Full List Coming Soon To https://www.savvicode.com/