Vietnam Dealbook: IPP2 gives $1.14m grants for startups; Italy’s Constantia Flexibles acquires Oai Hung

Visual of Hamona's website. Hamona is an existing investee of the IPP that has received additional grant.

The Innovation Partnership Programme, a cooperation between the governments of Vietnam and Finland, is accelerating its support for Vietnamese startups by granting seed money of 1 million euros ($1.14 million).

In the plastics packaging industry, a local firm, Oai Hung, has been acquired by Italian company Constantia Flexibles, the world’s second largest flexible packaging manufacturer for the pharmaceutical and home and personal care industries.

IPP2 gives $1.14m scale-up grants for startups

A total of 1 million euro scale-up grants of the Innovation Partnership Programme, a joint initiative by the governments of Vietnam and Finland, will be given to five startups, two ecosystem developers and several other projects, in 2016.

This support include the financing for both existing portfolio selected from last year and new startup ecosystem developers.

“The additional grant is expected to accelerate the seven projects to reach faster growth and become showcases to promote Vietnamese startups’ visibility with the international community,” the IPP said in a statement.

The eligible startups and projects include 500 Startups portfolio Beeketing, big data platform Abivin, hotel management system ezCloud, coconut product manufacturer Hamona, education startup Smart Edu Now, Fablabs Vietnam and an entrepreneurship centre in Da Nang.

Meanwhile, the 10 new selected startup ecosystem development projects grow the total number of such projects to 14. The projects are located across the country, coming from different areas such as angel investor network group, local incubation, vertical incubation, online startup ecosystem platform, national startup ecosystem programme and accelerator programme.

These are the activities in the second phase of the IPP, called the IPP2, which started in 2014 and will last until 2018, totaling a budget of 11 million euros. It is targeting to improve the structures and services for startups in Vietnam on local and national levels, and especially enhance the international connections of startup supporters.

Also read: In effectual ecosystem, entrepreneurs build companies that are focused on partnership: Nick Norena, IPP Vietnam

Italian packaging firm Constantia Flexibles acquires Oai Hung

Italy’s packaging company Constantia Flexibles has acquired Vietnam-based family owned pharmaceutical packaging firm Oai Hung, a move to strengthen its position in Asia.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, south of Vietnam, Oai Hung saw sales of 25 million euros ($28.3 million) in 2015, Constantia said in their release. The Vietnamese company is said to have gained a substantial stand in the dairy lidding sector, having entered this market for only two years.

“With the acquisition of Oai Hung, we have obtained our first pharmaceutical production site in Asia and entered the high growth Southeast Asian region. We also see Oai Hung as a hub for further expansion in the region in the future,” said Pierre-Henri Bruchon, executive vice president and head of the pharmaceutical division at Constantia Flexibles.

Prior to the transaction with the Vietnamese facility, the Vienna-based firm had acquired Australian labels company Pemara, which also has a plant in Vietnam.

The pharma arm of Constantia Flexibles has annual sales of around 300 million euros ($339.5 million), and supplies over 1,000 global customers.

Also read: Thai Siam Cement Group takes majority stake in Vietnam’s packing firm Batico

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.