Vietnam: Abivin wins Startup World Cup; Shinhan, Hancom pact on smart city projects

Vietnamese logistics startup Abivin has won the Startup World Cup competition bagging a $1-million prize amount.  Meanwhile, South Korean investors Shinhan Bank and Hancom have targeted Vietnam as one of the Southeast Asian markets for their smart city partnership.

Abivin wins Startup World Cup

Abivin, a Vietnamese startup providing logistics services, has bagged $1 million in prize after it won the Pegasus Tech Ventures-sponsored Startup World Cup.

Founded in 2015, Abivin’s technology enables route optimization and vehicle capacity maximization for its clients to save up to 40 per cent costs.

Abivin founder Pham Nam Long said he will use the grant for R&D, enhancing the use of AI in logistics. The startup expects to attract more investors for its ambition to expand into other markets in Southeast Asia.

Other finalists in the Startup World Cup finale include Tag Sensors (Norway), Aeracess (Mauritius), Jeplan (Japan), Kue (Canada), Startsat60 (Australia), Finnos (Finland), Noul (South Korea), Biosolvit (Brazil), Mimbly (Sweden) and two American startups Sonavi Labs and Mira.

The competition was organised in 2016 by Silicon Valley-based investor Fenox Venture Capital. Anis Uzzaman, who was CEO and general partner of Fenox, officially launched Pegasus Tech Ventures earlier in May as a Venture-Capital-as-a-Service provider, which is currently the organizer of Startup World Cup.

The competition is held in over 35 cities around the world, with a $1 million grand investment prize, Pegasus Tech Ventures said in a statement.

Shinhan, Hancom to invest in Vietnam smart city projects

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank and office software provider Hancom have launched a partnership to develop smart city projects in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, according to the Korea Times.

The duo were said to jointly work on new digital businesses in the region, using blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, and seek opportunities in mobility or smart transportation.

“These will be an essential part of future smart city projects in Southeast Asia,” the media report cited Shinhan Bank in a statement last Friday.

The bank has developed a chatbot that is able to provide financial consultation relevant to customers’ needs via its SOL digital banking platform. Meanwhile, Hancom has developed a voice-recognition app that can be linked up to Shinhan’s digital banking services.

The new strategic cooperation comes as part of the firms’ pursuit of overseas opportunities. Shinhan said earlier that it planned to expand SOL to Vietnam and Indonesia in 2019.

Vietnam is also looking to boost smart cities projects through various competitions to screen for potential startup businesses. On the corporate side, major players, including the likes of Vingroup and telcos such as CMC, FPT and VNPT, have kickstarted their own projects.