All the latest news about Viet tech, startups, founders, investors, and unique investment opportunities
Issue 6, March 2023
Founder Spotlight: Rafael Masters and Hạ (Ella) Trịnh, Pioneers of Vulcan Augmetics
Network News: JK Technologies, AuMBER, Antler, VinaCapital Ventures
Funding: Medigo, F88, Masan Group, Rootopia
Vietnam Tech and Startup Environment Internal and External Investment, Economic Diplomacy, and Policy Changes.
DID YOU KNOW?
By 2028, Vietnam’s economy will officially surpass Thailand’s By 2036, Vietnam will be the 20th largest economy in the world and 2nd in SEA Vietnam is likely to have the 5th largest film industry in the world by 2050
Rafael Masters and Hạ (Ella) Trịnh, Pioneers of Vulcan Augmetics
Entrepreneurship For Good
Rafael Masters and Ella Trinh make up the dream team behind Vulcan Augmetics, an innovative prosthetics company attempting to make losing a body part nothing more than a temporary inconvenience. But who are the two honorable founders behind this lofty ambition? Ella grew up in Phu Yen in central Vietnam, spending a lot of her younger life around veterans and the disabled, due to her father’s work. After graduating from the London School of Commerce, she decided she wanted to come back to Vietnam and contribute back to the country. Ella believes that the Vietnamese are fierce doers, hardworking with high performance, making Vietnam a place of great potential to start a business. She founded her own startup solo, Boss Lady, which had to wind down, teaching her a lot about sales and online marketing but also that its hard to do things as a one woman team. She then worked in two more startups, gathering experience and learning more about how to run a business, and always keeping an eye open for the next inspiration, and waiting for the chance to build again. In 2018 she took a job at Alley51, a venture studio, as a project manager, and it was here she met Vulcan. Initially brought in to help accelerate company growth and build the organization, she soon took on a much larger role and was brought on as cofounder within
6 months. Since then she has recruited top talent, created a resilient and innovative organization, and built up a nationwide sales network of clinics and partners, all in the name of improving the lives of millions. At Vulcan she makes sure things are executed fast and effectively across all departments – by having the best people in the team, the most efficient processes in place, the most powerful culture to facilitate it, and the most strategic partners in the business ecosystem. Everything she does ensures those in need get the augmentations they require in a timely manner.
Rafael was raised in a village in the south of the UK, just down the road from Lord Mayor Treloars College, the largest disabled college in the country. Many of his friends as a teenager were wheelchair-bound, or heavily dependent on technology to live full lives, and their resilience and pragmatism were a deep influence. After graduating from University with a degree in Philosophy, he went to Vietnam to travel and work, teaching English for a year before returning to the UK. While in Vietnam however, he came to love the country, the culture and his career in education, and decided to stay. He progressed from teaching to academic development and management.
Rafael decided after 8 years it was time to build something that would make a difference on a much larger scale. He had seen that Vietnam was a country of tremendous potential, with people who were creative, pragmatic and ambitious, but he didn’t yet know enough about business to do the opportunity justice, so he took an MBA. During this time he also started learning more about 3D printing and design, and became involved with the local maker community which opened his eyes to the technological possibilities becoming available. Shortly after graduating he met Akshay, a representative of a venture studio called Alley51, at a networking event. After talking about 3D printing, maker spaces, and entrepreneurship for several hours, Rafael was invited to pitch Alley51 his startup idea and Vulcan Augmetics was born.
In the years since Vulcan was founded Rafael has continued to learn and adapt, incorporating new technology in the most efficient way, and ensuring that the company has built a brand and product that is aligned with real user requirements. His mantra is “Make what the user needs, not what you wish they needed”. At Vulcan he ensures that the company is moving in the right direction with a clear plan, managing tech development, finance and business strategy. Vulcan products are designed with accessibility for the end user clearly in mind, and he makes sure that this is considered at every stage of the development process, and that Vulcan is always aware of the user experience before they commit pen to paper.
Please join us to learn more about this company doing good with technology on March 30 at 8:00p Vietnam time, 9a ET.
SAVVI NETWORK NEWS
JK Technologies is a Houston, Texas – based technology company with five years of experience in the cutting-edge fields of VR and AR technology. The company specializes in creating immersive and interactive solutions for businesses, educational institutions, and content creators, leveraging their expertise in XR (VR, AR, and MR) technologies to deliver unparalleled customer experiences. One of JK Technologies’ flagship products is SEENSIO, an innovative metaverse platform that aims to virtualize Earth, providing an immersive and engaging environment for users. SEENSIO empowers businesses to establish memorable interactions and build thriving customer communities by focusing on delivering personalized experiences, immersive branding opportunities, real-time interactions, gamification, accessibility, and innovative learning and training solutions. As a pioneer in the field of XR technologies, JK Technologies is committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the virtual world. With their team of dedicated professionals, the company continually refines and enhances SEENSIO to ensure it remains at the forefront of the rapidly evolving metaverse landscape. By combining their passion for innovation with a deep understanding of their clients’ needs, JK Technologies is dedicated to helping businesses succeed in the digital age through the power of the SEENSIO metaverse platform.
AuMBER, the IoT device cloud testing platform which allows anyone to add their own smart devices to the
cloud for software developers and testers to test their apps on, will be exiting its beta and entering its official release in April. In addition, they will be launching an additional platform which allows anyone in the world to add their devices to the cloud to be accessed for reasons other than app testing. Users can leave a phone at home and access it from anywhere, even if they travel to other countries. They can access devices in other countries as a type of hardware VPN service. The use cases are up to the users. AuMBER has also announced that they are looking to partner with local Vietnamese device stores who can add devices which are currently sitting idle to the AuMBER cloud and begin generating income from them while the stores are closed. Soon, AuMBER hopes to encourage people around the world to add their old smart devices to their cloud instead of trading them in or disposing of them, adding to the sustainability of the company and the world. By the end of the second quarter of 2023, the founders hope to raise funding from investors, partner with their first large mobile device store chain, and gain their first large enterprise customer, which they are already in the process of doing. They are open to any assistance from the SAVVi community. If anyone has anything to offer, they can be reached at email@example.com.
Antler Vietnam has begun recruiting founders for it’s 4th cohort. To date, they’ve invested in 20 companies
across their first 3 cohorts. They fund companies from day 0 and with no risk on the part of the founders. All that is needed to be accepted is an idea and the determination to pull it off. Their portfolio includes the likes of SAVVi community member AuMBER and on-demand warehousing platform Wareflex. The application to
apply can be found here: https://www.antler.co/location/vietnam. Antler is currently particularly interested in increasing it’s number of qualified female founders and tech founders, two segments where it already excels compared to its peers, but believes there is always room for improvement. Founders who apply do not need to be Vietnamese citizens. They just need to be building in Vietnam.
VinaCapital Ventures is on the cusp of closing its most recent fund. “We are in the process of closing our final deals over the next three months, before we stop investing in new startups . About two-thirds of the value of the remaining fund will be earmarked to further invest in the companies in our portfolio,” said Hoang Duc Trung, Director of VinaCapital Ventures. The second fund of VinaCapital Ventures started operating in 2018 and has invested $26 million in 17 companies, including Rever, Logivan, Koina, An Vui and many others. VinaCapital Ventures is managing about 100 million USD with the expectation of profit of about 20%/year. “On average, 16% is the odds a fund can survive and return investors. If it reaches 16 to 30%, it’s good, but over 30% is better. Venture capital is about taking risks, so the expectation of profit must be big enough,” Trung said. VinaCapital Ventures will continue to launch a third fund in the second half of this year, targeting companies creating technology solutions in deeper funding rounds.
Medigo, a Vietnam-based company which helps users order medicine from trusted pharmacies close to them online, just raised $2 million from East Ventures. The company plans to use the investment to “strengthen its service and develop a healthcare ecosystem in Vietnam” by including remote doctor consultation and quick medicine delivery 24/7 within 20 minutes.
F88 Investment Joint Stock Company (F88) on Thursday announced that it
sF88 Investment Joint Stock Company (F88) on Thursday announced that it successfully raised a series C investment of US$50 million. The two main investors in this round are Việt Nam-Oman Investment Fund (VOI) and Mekong Enterprise Fund IV (MEF IV). The fresh funds will be invested in technology, data analytics and data science, brand building and acquiring new customers, developing human resources, and attracting new talents.
Retail giant Masan Group has secured $650 million in a syndicated loan from a group of lenders to fund future operations. The loan was provided by BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, and the United Overseas Bank, in which $375 million have been committed , Masan said in a statement Friday. The loan has a five-year tenor with an annual interest rate of 8%. Including another $600 million loan that was secured at the end of November, the company could potentially get $1.25 billion in new financing within over three months.
Rootopia, a fintech startup connecting students with angel investors in Vietnam, has secured US$1 million in a pre-seed round from Genesia Ventures,
ThinkZone Venture, and BK Fund.
With the funding, Rootopia plans to grow its early user base to reach productmarket fit. It will also improve its technology platform to serve more students to uplift their future through better education.
VIETNAM TECH AND
SpaceX, Netflix, Boeing to join ‘biggest-ever’ US business mission to Vietnam
https://e.vnexpress.net/news/economy/spacex-netflixboeing-to-join-biggest-ever-us-business-mission-tovietnam-4582475.html” More than 50 companies, including defense,pharmaceutical and tech firms, will participate in themission organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council,an industry body, according to a list seen by Reuters.”
PM calls for focus on economic diplomacy to attract foreign investment
“Vietnam needs to strengthen its economic diplomacy to attract investments from multinational companies and achieve green transformation and sustainable development, PM Pham Minh Chinh has said. Chairing a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, he said Vietnam has gradually shifted its focus to diplomacy to serve socio-economic recovery and development.”
Việt Nam’s trade with top 11 Asian markets is set to
“Trade in just 12 key markets (Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Việt Nam), known as the Asia 12, accounts for 88 per cent of intra-Asia trade today and could more than double in value from US$6.4 trillion in 2020 to $13.5 trillion in 2030.”
Vietnam’s overseas investments rise
“Vietnam’s outbound investments reached $115.1 million in the first two months of this year, 2.16 times higher than that the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Of the sum, $109.4 million was poured into 10 new projects, a 2.1-fold rise year-on-year. Meanwhile, four other projects increased their capital by nearly $5.7 million.”
Samsung Vietnam factories fetch nearly $71B revenues
“Samsung Vietnam’s four factories recorded a revenue of nearly $71 billion last year, accounting for 30% of the South Korean’s electronic giants. The four factories posted a profit of $4.6 billion, according to the giant’s earnings report.”
Prime Minister requests expansion of visa waiver scheme to boost inbound tourism
“The Government chief tasked subordinate levels to amend and supplement entry and exit policies for international arrivals in the direction of increasing the number of countries to the current visa waiver scheme with longer duration of visa-free stay, and expanding evisa program.”
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/