Vietnamese Dotcom of the Year 2007: IDG’s 18 “ventures”!? – PART I

This is not going to give a prediction on the looming TIME’s Person of the Year 2007 but a borrowing of their brilliant concept to Vietnam’s dotcom landscape.

If 2007 was remembered as a year that Vietnamese Internet startups going mainstream, then it is IDGVV’s activities and their “ventures” that attracted the most attention. No doubt IDGVV and its investee companies should be named Vietnamese Dotcom of the Year 2007.

However, this is not the total sum of equal parts: some of the companies in this team are highly successful, some has lost all its IDG halo effect, and some are half way checking direction to a light at the end of a tunnel. Hereunder is a brief scorecard of key players in alphabetical order.

Aha.vn
This CNet clone is adding more exclusive contents to its technology portal with news articles, shopping comparison features, video clips, product reviews. Actually Aha.vn has created some really good contents. However, it is having difficulty attracting a critical mass user base and finding a relevant revenue model. Creating quality contents like Aha should requires a lot of capital spending and editorial competency. In 2007, Aha hasn’t made any considerable progress in terms of product and customer acquisition. Meanwhile, Thegioididong and other mobile phone/computer retailers in Vietnam with decent revenues are creating even more attractive contents than Aha.vn. Expecting quite a long time before Aha.vn craft a value proposition that is attractive enough to Vietnamese Internet users and advertisers, and strong enough to fend off mentioned competitors. Now DDTH is acquired by VinaGame, maybe Thegioididong should use some small change from its $4.5 million funding from Mekong Capital to acquire Aha.vn so that all Aha, IDG, Thegioididong and Mekong Capital can say aha all day.
2007 Scorecard: C+

Chodientu
Chodientu is finding a reality that replicating a solid business model from the United States is not an easy task. It has made almost no progress in moving mainstream and acquires more customers. Moreover, it is still not completely recovered from the Huy Remy hacking scandal that tainted its founder, the companies and its stakeholders. Now ebay has launched a Vietnamese version, the rumour that Chodientu is negotiating a 1 million sell out to eBay seems unrooted. PeaceSoft would have to work very hard or its ebay Vietnam’s dream will evaporate and it would become the most clamorous web failure in Vietnam’s Internet history.
2007 Scorecard: C-

Clip.vn
Clip.vn has made some good progress in customer acquistions and product improvement in 2007. It has been experimenting with in video banner ads but with limited success and the clientele is only restricted to few small advertisers. However, Clip.vn should be careful with other YouTube clones that are preparing their inroads. Looking to China where there are hundreds of YouTube clones that no one has been successful and is desperately waiting for Google’s acquisition, Clip.vn would have many challenges ahead.
2007 Scorecard: A-

Cyvee
This LinkedIn clone had a solid business model, a good start, a promising platform, and more than adequate funding. Therefore, Cyvee is well positioned to become one of the most successful web 2.0 stories in Vietnam. However, Cyvee is having some challenges crafting a tangible value proposition to its core business executive audience. To preempt a slowdown in customer’s acquisition and traffic curve, Cyvee is launching heavy but costly advertising programs. So far it has recorded some early success, however the long term vitality remains to be seen.
2007 Scorecard: A-

Coming next: I will write on Cyworld Vietnam, Diadiem, GFM, SanOTC, VC Corp