Cocoon Capital, 500 Startups lead funding in Vietnamese platform Hiip

Cocoon Capital, a $7 million Singapore-based venture capital fund, and 500 Startups have led an undisclosed seed funding round in  Vietnamese influencer platform Hiip.

Hiip’s early backer, in its pre-seed round, Expara Ventures, also participated in the investment.

This deal marks Cocoon Capital’s maiden funding activity in Vietnam.

“Although we rarely invest at this early stage, we were greatly impressed by Hiip’s team and passion for the business and made an exception to join the round,” said Will Klippgen, partner at Cocoon Capital.

Hiip claims itself as Vietnam’s first automated influencer platform, having helped brands like Shiseido, Xiaomi, and Juno – a local fashion accessories company – connect with social influencers.

 The startup’s revenue doubled twice in the last eight months, it said.

“Vietnamese consumers closely follow the tastes of influencers. Yet many advertisers have used these influencers bluntly: charge companies exorbitant commissions to connect with the influencers who have the largest following, matching-be-damned. Hiip represents the next generation of influencer marketing: data-driven connections to tell stories,” noted Eddie Thai, the Vietnamese partner for Silicon Valley-based early stage investor 500 Startups.

Phi Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of Hiip, said the investment will facilitate Hiip in upgrading its product and expansion in the region. In addition, the company has made a key hire of Ha Nguyen, former executive director of PE-backed baby and mom retailer Concung, as COO.

Last year, Hiip graduated from the CLAS Expara Startup Accelerator and bagged pre-seed funding from Expara, a partner of the accelerator, and angel investors.

Cocoon Capital is a pre-Series A fund targeting S$350,000 to S$1 million investments in Southeast Asia companies in Saas, fintech, ecommerce and disruptive tech. It was introduced in December 2016.

US venture capital firm 500 Startups launched its $10 million Vietnam fund in March 2016 and has made 17 investments so far by adding Hiip to the portfolio, according to the fund’s website.

Also read:

Vietnamese influencer platform Hiip raises funding from Expara, others

Fund Focus: Cocoon Capital abandons traditional VC approach as it targets B2B startups

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.