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.
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.