Asia Digest: Shark Tank Vietnam raises $33m for startups; Jim Breyer invests in Rosemary Health

The Vietnamese version of the business reality television series Shark Tank has launched its fourth season, focusing on startups providing digital transformation solutions; while Facebook investor Jim Breyer and Singapore’s Vulpes Investment Management have backed Australian healthcare startup Rosemary Health.

Shark Tank Vietnam launches fourth season

Nearly $33 million in investment capital has been committed to 77 startups in the Vietnamese version of funding TV show Shark Tank through three seasons, the programme’s organisers said at the launch of the fourth season on Tuesday.

This year’s theme is digital transformation and the programme will not only connect startups with investors but also expand opportunities for startups that are developing digital products.

The six investor judges of Shark Tank Vietnam are Nguyen Xuan Phu, chairman of household appliance provider Sunhouse; Pham Thanh Hung, vice chairman of property developer CEN Group; Do Thi Kim Lien, founder of technology insurance application LIAN; Nguyen Hoa Binh, chairman of NextTech Group; Nguyen Thanh Viet, chairman of the board of directors of Intracom Group; and Louis Nguyen, chairman & general director of Saigon Asset Management (SAM).

The show will be aired every Sunday on national television. Vietnam is the 41st country to import the Japanese-origin reality show.

Shark Tank Vietnam debuted in 2017 with a corpus of  70 billion dong ($3 million) targeting early-stage financing for promising startups and raising awareness about the local fledgling startup ecosystem.

Vietnam’s startup ecosystem witnessed the launch of a venture capital fund alliance that commits over $815 million to support the country’s startup ecosystem over the next four years. An agreement to that effect was signed between the Vietnamese government and local and international VC firms at the Vietnam Venture Summit in November 2020.

Facebook backer Jim Breyer invests in Rosemary Health

Venture capital heavyweight and early Facebook backer Jim Breyer has participated in a $2.4 million seed funding round in healthcare startup Rosemary Health, making his first investment in Australia.

Rosemary Health was founded by a Vietnam-born Australian entrepreneur. The startup said that the fresh fund will be used to help scale its clinical capabilities to serve a growing customer base in rural, regional, and metropolitan Australia.

In addition to A$900,000 in funding from Breyer Capital, Rosemary banked $1.4 million from venture fund Artesian, while Spring Capital invested $250,000. Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management invested $500,000.

The Sydney-based healthcare business has seen explosive demand since it started offering online consultations and clinical support six months ago. The company claims that it attracted more than 10,000 users with double-digit monthly growth.

Rosemary co-founder and CEO Romain Bonjean is one of Australia’s leading consumer health and technology entrepreneurs. He worked with 23andMe on its Australian market entry.

Rosemary Health provides online healthcare consultations and home delivery of pharmacy medicines for 22 common conditions. Rosemary plans to raise additional funds in the second half of this year to fuel growth and acquisitions.

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.