Nguyen Cong Nam Hien : The toy entrepreneur

Nam Hien ( on the right) and Linh, head of R&D and co-founder

It is tough to get investors excited about a toy startup. But for Nguyen Cong Nam Hien, the founder of Vietnamese toymaker Mato.vn, it was about converting his childhood passion into a visible business plan. Along the way, investors took notice. Incubated at Hatch!, the company recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding, after getting three angel investors excited about its offerings. Cong Nam’s broader vision for Mato.vn – which has already sold over 10,000 units through 60 retail stores in Hanoi, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh – is to expand the customer base by aligning with schools and retailers. Nam Hien says the company’s long term success lies not just in expanding or venturing abroad, but in its ability to connect with kids and making fun toys that can aid the learning process and get children engaged.  Edited excerpts from the interview.

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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).

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  • 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. 
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