The start-ups included are technology-driven and focus on logistics, property and healthcare.
Southeast Asia’s start-up scene is booming and Vietnamese start-ups are at the forefront of its boom. From leveraging underutilised trucks to improving accessibility to reliable and credible healthcare in remote areas, the contributions of four Vietnamese start-ups secured their inclusion in the inaugural 2021 Forbes Asia To Watch list, which names 100 of the most promising start-ups in Asia that managed to grow in the past year despite the pandemic.
Founded in 2017 by Linh Pham, Logivan is a logistics start-up that allows businesses to book underutilised trucks in Vietnam. By connecting underutilised trucks with new customers, Logivan serves both ends of the logistics industry. To date, Logivan has attracted more than 60,000 trucks and serves clients such as Coca-Cola, Olam and Wilmar.
According to Forbes, Logivan is one of the few start-ups in Vietnam that has managed to raise a significant amount of funding (close to $8m) from foreign investors and has even received mentorship from key players in Silicon Valley. The funding will be used to expand into more cities in Vietnam as well as neighbouring countries such as Cambodia and Thailand.
On top of its funding, Logivan also boasts an armful of accolades including RISE’s ‘Best start-up of the year 2018’, beating more than 800 start-ups. Additionally, Logivan also placed first in the prestigious [email protected] Vietnam 1.0 in 2018, which recognises community-supporting entrepreneurs for their ingenuity.
Established in 2017 by Trung Hoang Nguyen, Lozi takes on delivery giant rivals such as GoTo and Grab with its promised one-hour guaranteed service that runs the gamut from food (Loship), medicine (Loxe), laundry (Lozat), ride-hailing (Loxe), flower delivery (Lohoa), cosmetics and beauty products (LoBeauty) and B2B supply delivery (Losupply). In a nutshell, Lozi connects millions of buyers and sellers together while catering to the demands of a burgeoning e-commerce market amid a pandemic.
Fast becoming one of Vietnam’s fastest-scaling start-ups, Lozi boasts a portfolio of more than 70,000 drivers, 200,000 merchants and 2 million customers across Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Can Tho. With market conditions ripe for its growth and a USD $12 million pre-Series C funding under its belt (investors include MetaPlanet Holdings, SQ Capital Group, Prism Ventures amongst others), Lozi is pegged to become the first Vietnamese company to list on the U.S. stock exchange in more than a decade.
The company said it will use the new funding to expand into new cities, chiefly second-tier ones, fuel growth areas such as a B2B delivery offering for small food and beverage businesses and mom-and-pop shops and ‘drive forward instant commerce delivery in under an hour’, said Truong.
Founded in 2019, Med247 is an online-to-offline healthtech start-up that provides round-the-clock care through tech-driven health services and information on its app. Med247 aims to alleviate the issues due to gaps in access, quality and affordability of medical care in Vietnam. A report by the World Bank in 2016 shows ‘There are 72 doctors for every 100,000 citizens (0.072% penetration rate) - a considerably low rate by international standards.’
Med247 enables patients to book no-wait appointments with their preferred doctor at chain clinics and major household hospitals in Vietnam. Furthermore, it offers 24/7 telemedicine (including doctor consultation from its database of over 30 doctors either through video or voice call), delivery of prescriptions, reminders to take your medicine as well as storage of digital health records.
Med247 is backed by Singapore’s KK Fund, Indonesia’s Venturra Capital and other angel investors. “Med247 is one of the very few pre-launched startups KK Fund has invested in. I was amazed by the business concept and the founders involved, especially because one of the co-founders, Dr. Phong, is a practising doctor.” Koichi Saito commented, a founding partner at KK Fund. According to Med247’s chief growth officer, as told to KrASIA, Med247 currently handles around 400 consultations per day, has over 38,000 active users on its platform and has recorded a 30% to 50% month-on-month increase in business volume since January 2020.
Launched in 2015 by CEO Hai Le, Hoozing is an online real estate marketplace where people can buy and rent accommodations. Key features include user reviews, 3D property listings, price calculation tools and digital payment options that enable safe and efficient buy-and-sell transactions to take place. The convenience and credibility of the app has attracted more than 7,000 agents to its platform and boasts over 50,000 accommodation listings.
In the second quarter of 2020, Hoozing announced an undisclosed amount of funding from Smilegate Investment, a South Korean venture fund and before that, the company was backed by venture capital giant Expara Ventures. Furthermore despite the pandemic, Le announced Hoozing had earned $1.1 million in revenue last year. The company’s claim-to-fame was when Le turned down a proposal offering 7 billion VND in exchange for 10% share in his company back in 2018 on the popular TV show - Shark Tank Vietnam.