Startups win grants from IDG, Samsung-sponsored Vietnam Venture Cup

Hoayeuthuong.com, a winning team at Go Live! Vietnam Venture Cup 2015.

Mimosatek, a startup that develops technologies for the agriculture sector, and flower delivery startup Hoayeuthuong.com won $15,000 each from the Go Live! Vietnam Venture Cup competition in Ho Chi Minh City on December 22.

The event was co-hosted and sponsored by venture capital firm IDG Ventures Vietnam, South Korea’s tech conglomerate Samsung, Topica Edtech Group and startup community Launch.

Mimosatek, which was launched in November 2014, won for the new startup category, while the runners-up were wish-list shopping app Wiindi and FreelancerViet.

Following the “Internet of Things” trend, Mimosatek provides both apps and hardwares to help farmers maximize productivity while minimize cost and crop risks.

Hoayeuthuong.com, a five-year-old flower delivery platform that won the growth startup category, is targeting a market worth $1 billion value, as the company said it will help build an ecosystem for the flower industry in Vietnam to connect farmers with online and offline shops and customers, rather than just offering delivery service.

Already having presence across the country, Hoayeuthuong.com is looking for $500,000 funding in exchange for 20 per cent of its equity.

“Doing e-commerce is hard, navigating into manufacturing is even harder. But our ambition is to develop a flower business ecosystem in Vietnam,” said Pham Hoang Thai Duong, founder of the flower delivery startup.

Interestingly, both winners are incubatees of Topica Edtech Group’s franchised Founder Institute programme. FreelancerViet, the runner-up in the first category, is another startup under the initiative and has snapped a seed funding round from Khanh Ho, CEO of group purchasing websites Nhom Mua and Cung Mua, even before graduating from the programme.

The competition judges’ seemed to prefer startups with more add-on values, which created impact on a larger community.

Such competition event as Go Live! Vietnam Venture Cup will enable local startups to have more access to some funding and networking with investors. Pham Hop Pho, vice president of IDG Ventures Vietnam, said the fund and other co-organisers aimed to make Go Live! Vietnam Venture Cup an annual event, not only to support grants for startups but also to be a platform where people meet and share experience in building up the ecosystem.

However, Vietnam will need beyond that level, as exits remain a bottleneck for investors in this region. Simile Ventures Partners, New Leaf Ventures and DFJAthena, which have not yet made investments in the Vietnamese market, attended the event as a chance to learn more about the startup space in the country.

According to Tatiana Kim, co-founder and managing partner of Simile Ventures Partners, local founders are too focused on product development, which is important but not the only thing in the equation. With the experience of investing in both the Europe and emerging markets, she said European companies were more easily able to expand, while the differences among companies in Southeast Asia made the process more difficult.

Also Read:

Vietnam: Two startups under accelerator Topica Founder Institute seal seed funding

Google keen on investing in Vietnamese startups

Vietnam 2015: Startups have access to more dry powder with new fund launches

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.