Facebook-like local social network Gapo launches in Vietnam

A new social network, called Gapo, has launched in Vietnam with an investment of $22 million from G Capital in an effort to shift users to a local platform amid a strong presence of global players in the market.

The $22-million capital injection will be used for Gapo’s first phase of development, the company said.

Gapo, the app that mimics Facebook, targets to acquire 3 million users in 2019, and 20 million by January 2021.

Gapo has also teamed up with Sony Music Entertainment to feature music content by the strategic partner.

“There are not many social networks for users to choose from. A lot of startups are still trying to perfect their products without making sure they are relevant to users. Gapo will focus on personalising user experience,” said Gapo CEO Ha Trung Kien.

G Group is known to operate several other tech platforms as well as a gaming community platform. The company is understood to leverage this community as a base of users for the social network.

The launch of Gapo comes at a time when the local ministry of information and communication is calling for the establishment of ‘made-in-Vietnam’ social platforms. Several apps have been built, such as VietnamTa and Hahalolo, but they have not made much headway.

Meanwhile, US giants such as Facebook and Youtube are facing several challenges related to taxation and information security while operating in the country.

Facebook and Youtube account for almost 70 per cent of advertising revenues in 2018, according to various market research reports. Of the 97 million population, 42 million Vietnamese were on Facebook everyday, local media reported in 2018.

Vietnam is also tightening scrutiny and looking at ways to prevent businesses from advertising on social media content that might carry ‘toxic’ information. In addition, a recent cybersecurity law requires internet companies operating in Vietnam to store user data locally and provide user data to the government.

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.