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VIISA Accelerator Program Batch 5 graduates

Released at: 11:28, 15/07/2019

VIISA Accelerator Program Batch 5 graduates

Photo: VIISA

VIISA celebrates completion of fifth batch in accelerator program at Investment Day on July 11 in HCMC.

by Minh Do

VIISA celebrated the completion of the fifth batch of its four-month accelerator program at its Investment Day on July 11 in Ho Chi Minh City. The invitation-only event welcomed more than 100 active and accredited investors, corporations, and startup community builders.

Batch 5 of the Accelerator Program consisted of three startups: VDES, Loglag, and SaveMoney. An interesting commonality in this batch is that they are all building platforms. They are:

  • VDES: A one-stop-shop marketplace, VDES connects event venues and event providers to customers in the simplest manner with advanced technology, including big data, machine learning, and virtual reality. With an ecosystem service, customers can save 80 per cent of time and 30 per cent of cost on all booking processes and receive a best price guarantee. VDES also supports vendors to increase their competitive advantage in the market, reduce cost, and be more effective in managing businesses.
  • SaveMoney provides full insurance services combining innovative insurance platform technology with high-quality brokerage advisory. SaveMoney’s solution is a highly-flexible and highly-scalable digital insurance platform with an integrated B2C advisory process using big data, providing the possibility of designing, implementing, and rolling-out existing and new insurance services within three months.
  • Loglag provides a truck and container booking platform with big data and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. By leveraging mobile connectivity, Loglag connects drivers and fleet owners with cargo and customers to make Vietnam’s logistics and transportation industry more accessible.

Mr. Hieu Vo, CFO of VIISA, kick-started the Investment Day by proudly talking about the Batch 5 startups: “I am proud of what these amazing founders have overcome and developed throughout the program. In order to make these changes happen, startups in Batch 5 have actively harnessed and created large, scalable networks of users and resources that can be accessed on-demand. There are real products and real technologies that generated more than 3,000 transactions within three months. The network effects these startups have built touch more than 500,000 people in Vietnam. With their solutions and products, the startups are helping customers cut time and transaction costs and increase revenue by enabling externalized innovation.”

“Startups in Batch 5 possess remarkable domain expertise and a deep understanding of the local market and will most definitely forge their paths in their respective industries,” said Mr. Marc Djandji, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at VIISA. “I’ve enjoyed being on the ground floor of innovation and disruption, as well as having the honor to provide guidance to the next generation of Vietnamese entrepreneurs.”

The startups in Batch 5 went through intensive training. There were seven training sessions with ten experts and more than 150 working hours with VIISA over the course of the 12 weeks, from Product/Market Fit to helping the startups see the world differently, inspire new ways to create value for customers, closing business and investment deals, and developing scalable business models. The startups also received seed funding from VIISA and benefited from VIISA partners such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Payoo, and MoonLab co-working space, etc. They came on stage at VIISA Investment Day #5, presenting real businesses with real customers, recording high growth and strong interest from top-tier investors in less than three months. The promising startups will be able to obtain follow-on funding of up to $200,000 from VIISA when they secure a new round of funding from other investors.

“It was an exciting three months, and the intensive VIISA mentors and training programs are extremely valuable and help our business improve a lot in all aspects, from finance and models to product development,” said Ms. Ann Nguyen, CEO at VDES. “We want to send a special thank you to Ms. Kelly Tran (Entrepreneur-in-Residence at VIISA), who welcomed us to join the VIISA family and introduced us to our tech partner Appable.”

“The tech team is super supporting and plays an important role in bringing VDE’s platform to the next level. And most importantly, VIISA team members bring positive energy and mental support and advice to our founders regardless of time. The VIISA family makes us feel more confident, knowing that we are not alone and can turn the impossible into the possible. VIISA is one of the best accelerators we have enrolled in so far, and we recommend startups join and use this opportunity to improve and grow the startup in a short period of time.”

The event was also highlighted by a panel discussion on “The Journey to Series A”, moderated by Mr. Djandji and starring Mr. Khoi Nguyen, CEO of WeFit, Mr. Hieu Truong, CEO of UrBox, and Mr. Dat Nguyen, CEO of TheBank.

Since building a large tech company typically requires millions of dollars, the availability of follow-on financing is a crucial element of any tech ecosystem. And while there are startups that become profitable businesses after having only raised seed round funding, those are the exceptions, and almost every tech startup that raises seed round funding aspires to raise Series A funding 12-24 months later.

At the panel discussion, TheBank, the first online financial advisory website in Vietnam, was proud to mention its successful pre-Series A funding in the first half of this year. TheBank has recorded significant performance growth, with traffic increasing 20 per cent and revenue 10 per cent from April to May this year. Wefit, meanwhile, graduated in the first batch of the VIISA Acceleration Program and has successfully raised pre-Series A funding.

Wefit’s revenue in the first half of this year was 85 per cent higher than in the same period of 2018. Its new product, “WeJoy”, offering beauty services, has seen impressive growth in recent months, with sales in May up 153 per cent against April. Finally, WisePass has already expanded outside of Vietnam, operating in four cities (Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Bangkok, and Manila, and targeting Jakarta next), and has also closed significant partnerships with prominent partners such as the Marriott Group, CGV, Starbucks, and Citibank.

“After graduating from the Accelerator program, we hope they keep building great companies,” Mr. Duc Tran, CEO at VIISA, said in his closing address. He called for startups to participate in the Accelerator Program Batch 6 at VIISA, scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2019.

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