Is Vietnam an attractive environment for startups?

Created 06 March 2019
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With many promotion programs, Vietnam is looking to be recognized as a 'startup nation'. However, the business environment lacks innovative models.

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A product of Nami

Telepod is a startup registered in Singapore by a group of new graduates. Sharing electric scooters at low costs, Telepod has been successful in its home country, Thailand and the US.

The solution developed by Telepod helped it successfully call for 18,000 Singapore dollar of investment from Singapore Mass Rapid Transit in the angel round.

Following its success, Telepod wanted to enter Vietnam with the scooter rental of 15 cents for a lease.

However, the managers of Telepod learned from Quest Venture and Saigon Innovation Hub, the consultancy firms, that Vietnam is not an easy market to penetrate.

Who will use electric scooters on the streets where traffic jams occur regularly and there are many potholes? Will it be safe to park scooters in public areas, if all the parking lots in the country must hire keepers? 

With many promotion programs, Vietnam is looking to be recognized as a "startup nation". However, the business environment lacks innovative models.

Teleport decided to make adjustments with the original business model. However, with the limited service, the profitability may not be high.

Build Easy is from Malaysia. The startup has developed a mixed reality technology in designing houses, managing construction from a distance, and connecting suppliers and construction companies to draw plans to build houses for customers.

However, in Vietnam, Build Easy can provide only one product – design of houses. This is because supply sources are not ready to cooperate with other businesses.

While foreign startups try to penetrate the Vietnamese market, many Vietnamese startups are trying to go abroad. 

Nami Corporation, for example, after several months of presence in Vietnam, has arrived in Singapore. This is a blockchain-based technology firm which develops apps for use in the service sector.

Nami’s products include Nami Assistant which provides financial research, Nami.Today, a media channel, and Nami Trade, a trading floor.

Giap Van Dai, CEO of Nami, said on Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon that the Vietnamese laws do not support startups using blockchain technology in the financial sector related to electronic money.

In Singapore, Dai said the government sets clear regulations and startups just need to observe the law. Nami bears a tax rate applied to a technology research firm and has to pay tax only after two years of operation.

After the first two years of operation, Nami is entering the US, Switzerland and Japan markets and now has other products besides financial investment products.

Analysts said the government of Vietnam is making every effort to encourage startups. However, problems still exist which may discourage investors.

 

Kim Chi

Source: - Bridge

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