Vietnamese coconut drinks startup Hamona raises six-digit funding round

Nguyen Hoang Long (middle), CEO of Hamona. Photo credit: The Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP).

Ho Chi Minh City-headquartered coconut drinks startup Hamona has raised its first round of venture capital funding – a six-digit figure (dollar) – from a group of investors, CEO Nguyen Hoang Long told DEALSTREETASIA.

Long declined to divulge more details of the deal.

The funding came right before the company exhibited its products at the Natural Products Expo California 2016, an event that marked Hamona’s US foray, he told DEALSTREETASIA in an email interaction.

Following the exhibition, Hamona has entered into agreements with distributors and upscale retailers in the West Coast of the US, he added.

Prior to this round, Hamona won a $25,000 grant from the Inclusive Business Matching event hosted by the Inclusive Business Accelerator in Vietnam, and received the second tranche from the Finnish initiative Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP), which provided a total of 1.2 million euros to 17 startup projects in 2016.

Founded in 2013, Hamona, short for “Harmony with Mother Nature”, aims to exploit the abundant agricultural product of Vietnam to the vast untapped global market while helping improve the lives of local farmers.

“The idea came naturally when we were looking to create an innovative product that has world-wide market potential and at the same time local competitive strength. Coconut water is becoming more popular every day and there is a lot of potential for further innovation. There is scientific research about the medicinal and nutritional values of coconuts,” Long said in a post on the Inclusive Business Accelerator website.

The CEO also said farmers would get 30 per cent more income than the traditional way of trading coconuts.

However, Long acknowledged that the main challenge was to satisfy the large demand from international markets.

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