Vietnam’s homegrown fund QueenBee invests in iCheck

Traceability mobile app iCheck has sealed a seed funding from Vietnamese homegrown investment fund QueenBee, a startup-dedicated fund led by a former deputy director of Vietnam’s state-owned telco VNPT.

The details of the investment are undisclosed, but iCheck said the proceeds will substantially increase the spread of its application.

iCheck, launched in August 2015, provides traceability of origin and price information of goods via barcode scanning. About 6 million people are using the app, with an average of 700,000 visits per day.

Its competitor in the local market is TraceVerified, initially a project backed by the Danish government and run by a Vietnamese team.

Hanoi-based QueenBee Inc, established in June 2016, is the latest local investment firm that is mandated to invest in Vietnamese tech startups. The fund chairman, Nguyen Van Hai, said he wanted to support startups that create social values, and iCheck was one of them. With the backing of QueenBee, Hai said iCheck will more swiftly realize its mission of solving the product safety and transparency issue in Vietnam, and hopefully bring the product to overseas markets.

The 38-year-old Hai resigned from VinaPhone, the third largest mobile network run by the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), last month.

He used to serve as director of two VNPT units, Vietnam Data Communication Company and digital content provider VASC.

Following the increasing deal flow into local startups, which has even driven the government to think of establishing a national venture capital fund, a lot of Vietnamese entrepreneurs have built their own investment vehicles. Prior to Hai, Dinh Anh Huan gave up his senior position at Vietnam’s largest electronic retailer Mobile World to head Seedcom, which has invested in a spate of local e-commerce platforms.

Vietnam has also recently witnessed the establishment of new venture builders and accelerators such as FPT Ventures, NOVAON Fund and Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator.

Also read:

S Korea’s Hanwha, BIDV join FPT, Dragon Capital to run $8m accelerator in Vietnam

FPT Capital, NOVAON team up to enable Vietnamese startups scale, get funded

500 Startups rolls out $10m regional micro-fund for Vietnam

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.