Vietnamese fast food chain BanhMiViet to raise seed funding from PVNi

Fast food chain BanhMiViet, a Ho Chi Minh City-based brand serving Vietnamese bread, is in talks for seed funding from Prosperous Vietnam Investment (PVNi), an established venture capital network.

While the deal has not been finalized yet, the company can get up to $45,000 as PVNi offers between $20,000-45,000 for seed stage. For ideation, the Vietnamese incubator would invest between $2,000 and $7,000 and up to $250,000 for a Series A round.

Launched in 2008 by Nguyen Viet Dao, BanhMiViet is a promising worldwide brand, but industry watchers say that recently it has performed below its potential.

As a strategic business, BanhMiViet aims to standardise the Vietnamese street food to a franchising quality, a way that other food franchises are available in the country, such as KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut.

As of 2014, BanhMiViet has opened four branches in the HCM City market. All of the company’s coverage and business concentrate only in the city, and PVNi hopes the cooperation with it will help BanhMiViet build a successful franchise concept and call new funding. Besides financing, PVNi will also help with its experience and relations with investors to develop BanhMiViet to the next level, executives aware of the developments said.

According to Dao, founder and CEO of BanhMiViet, “Banh Mi” (Vietnamese baguette), praised by BBC as the world’s best sandwich, is a very popular street food in Vietnam along with the “Pho” (Vietnamese noodle soup). Dao positions his company as a service to the middle and high level class, who are strictly demanding about quality. There are few such companies to enter this niche market, and Vietnamese people are eating Banh Mi bought from stalls or vendors.

Dao reveals that his future plans involves building the BMV FoodBox brand and paving the way for franchising in foreign markets.

As for PVNi, its upcoming deal with BanhMiViet will be its second investment in the food and beverage industry, following a deal in 2013 with Beanies’ Crepes & Waffles, which was also co-founded by Dao. Being at the seed stage, Beanies’ Crepes & Waffles plans to develop franchising beginning this year.

A source from Beanies’ Crepes & Waffles told DEALSTREETASIA that the brand was “being considered to be merged with BanhMiViet into one entity”.

PVNi described BanhMIViet and Beanies’ Crepes & Waffles as an exceptionally promising investment, saying in a statement: “In the next few years, it is not surprising if BanhMiViet Foodbox, Beanies’ Crepes & Waffles Food court or Beanies’ Creperies Café are to present more and more in markets. Food and beverage is always an interesting opportunity associated with challenge. The cooperation between an ambitious CEO and the bravery experience from PVNi will push BanhMiViet and Beanies to develop faster in 2015.”

Other companies in PVNi’s portfolio that are also in seed funding stage include MyProClub – a social network connecting entrepreneurs and investors to exchange and invest in highly potential business ventures, and CloudWare – a provider of enterprise resource planning software. The VC firm is working with education and informatics company Blueway, which has reached its early development stage.

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.