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  • HarryD 5:51 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CyVee, , Vietnamese LinkedIn clones,   

    What is happening to Cyvee, what will? 

    As my prior prediction on Cyvee’s booming traffic rank on Alexa that “this won’t last long”, you might find something interesting here: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/cyvee.com

    After peaking in early November following an IDG Ventures Vietnam funding clamour, CyVee is experiencing its first challenge. Though subscribed members have climbed from 12,000 to more than 13,000, its ranking on Alexa is going downward. While Alexa should not be considered as the standard of web ranking, it is enough to reveal something about CyVee’s traffic, other factors equal.

    I’ve written on Quang’s blog that CyWorld and CyVee are the two best social networking platforms in Vietnam so far. I still stand by this argument. However, even a brilliant business model with proven success in other countries (Cyworld and LinkedIn) when copied in Vietnam will find some daunting tasks repeating a similar success.

    I have to admit that I use Cyvee as pure curiosity and as a “must” for a person so interested in this industry as me. In fact, I found there is almost no use for my appearance on CyVee. Most of my relationship are very “1.0” without the need to pronounce on CyVee. Checking with some boards of directors that I happen to have a sit in, almost no senior executive over there have a Cyvee account. Some have, but almost never use CyVee’s services. Looking at Cyvee’s members, most of the enthusiasts are students and middle managers.

    I guess because time is a luxury to all senior executives, you must bring something really valuable to them. Otherwise you cannot persuade them to indulge in your services by consuming their luxurious time.

    Jason just posted an interesting observation on the situation of Cyworld Vietnam in his blog. Now the two best platforms, Cyworld and Cyvee, seem to see many challenges ahead, it would be interesting to wait what will happen next to Vietnam’s web 2.0 spree.

    The story is now more interesting if you notice that News Corporation is planning an acquisition of LinkedIn. With News Corp.’s not very excellent track record in evolving and replicating their web 2.0 business models around (remember MySpace’s lost against Facebook, and where is MySpace China now?), expect Mr. Murdoch to turn LinkedIn into something similar to WSJ rather than an emerging technology platform. LinkedIn’s owners might be busy now working on their Open Social process with Google before selling to News Corp for a better price tag, so don’t expect them to look for Cyvee in Vietnam for an acquisition.

    Another problem with Cyvee is that News Corp has developed a reputation adapting their business models in other countries on their own rather than acquiring someone else. Remember Ms. Deng’s MySpace China, and Murdoch’s StarTV expansion around Asia? Therefore, while LinkedIn can fetch its owners some $4-6 billion from Mr. Murdoch (this is my own valuation of LinkedIn based on their current revenues/profits and an estimated “social networking multiple”), a price for CyVee would be at a far horizon.

    May be time for another exit strategy? Maybe, but CyVee needs to address its downward picture first.

    • Hồng Quang 7:51 am on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hmm, Alexa sucks sometimes; you can see the same trends for yobanbe, cyword too.

      Who should aquire CyVee? No, not News Corp. A passing thought, how about FPT?

    • HarryD 5:19 pm on November 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Cyvee is climbing a bit on Alexa in the past few days. Maybe interesting to wait and see.

      Meanwhile, FaceViet is experiencing a terrible tumble on Alexa, I can’t understand what is happening to FV.

      Given that FPT always boasts the most confident middle managers on earth, they might well believe starting their own SNS would be a cheaper way to do web 2.0 than acquiring someone like Cyvee. I’m waiting for their relaunch of Your Gate…

    • Nhon.PT 7:10 am on October 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Harry,
      I think a business model like Cyvee cannot operate good in Viet Nam because the following reason:
      + Vietnamese culture is not as open as Westerns is the first barrier. Many highly effective people in Viet Nam were born before 1980 that their mind of relationships is so serious. Do you think they like to show their profile in public?
      + In real world, almost Vietnamese users doesn’t have much experience of social networking to build their network like Westerners. Do you think a person who lacks of experience to do social network in their school, in their work can do well it on internet? I don’t think so.
      As I guess, social networking sites in Viet Nam will be more realistic 3 or 5 years late.
      Thanks for sharing!

  • HarryD 4:51 pm on October 31, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CyVee, LinkedIn clone,   

    IDG linked CyVee in 

    Vietnamese media reported on Oct. 30 that IDG has invested in local business social networking startup CyVee with an undisclosed amount. Now IDG has heated up the social networking play in Vietnam again, it might be tempting to see the scorecard of their portfolio.

    CyWorld Vietnam is the first SNS that received IDG’s money. It hopes to duplicate the success story of itself in South Korea, where it is the biggest SN player with more than 20 million members. CyWorld Vietnam claimed they have recruited 100,000 subscribers since its inception early this year, and is looking at the 500,000 landmark by the end of this year. How successful is CyWorld Vietnam? So far the opinions are mixed. Many Vietnamese teens loves its Korean-style design and appearance. However, some more mature and practical teens complain CyWorld is too sweetie teeny, too “closed”, and costly as CyWorld sells their personas and other items (I guess Vietnamese teenagers might not be as wealthy as their Korean counterparts). Nearly one year after its debut, CyWorld Vietnam are still halfway checking if their fee-based business model and Korean anime style would drive Vietnamese teenagers crazy like Bi Rain. Otherwise, CyWorld Vietnam might find itself in a similar position like its US sister.

    Yeuamnhac is the second player in IDG’s portfolio. It has been in a mysterious quiet atmosphere since receiving IDG’s money, except for a redesign of the website and the adding of video sharing functions. Yeuamnhac is in a heavy competition with very strong newcomers such as Zing MP3, 7Music/7Sac, Baamboo Music, Nhacvui, and a jungle of amateur music websites. While Baamboo or 7Sac’s business model has been proved in other part of the world, Yeuamnhac’s business model is uniquely Vietnam and that’s what makes them find difficult to go ahead. What Yeuamnhac should urgently do is to differentiate itself amid the mushrooming of online music services in Vietnam, or it would be ending as the weakest link among IDG’s connects.

    Yobanbe is another IDG’s involvement. It is a service launched by VinaGame, which is touted to be “the most successful” invested company of IDGVV. Well equipped, but Yobanbe is losing steam in its battle with Yahoo 360. Now its parent, VinaGame, is launching a full throttle attack against Yahoo with its Zing franchise, Yobanbe might expect to receive less attention from its mum. One options is to let Yobanbe go wherever it takes before Zing can outchat Yahoo, or the Zing franchise would find itself behind its respective competitors in every war.

    Clip.vn has been quite successful in drawing in viewers and boosting traffic. This YouTube clone is now trying to find the way to monetize its property. It has introduced both display ads and in video banner ads, but the results are still limited. Clip is burning more bucks than other social networking for its servers, so it would be more difficult for them to achieve break even. Though gaining some momentum, Clip will find it difficult to stay independent, just as original YouTube had. Therefore, an acquisition by a power player should be best for Clip’s investors.

    Newcomer CyVee should be the most interesting to watch. With more than 11,000 members since its debut early this year, CyVee is doing quite well in a country where business users’ social networking habits is a novelty to most. The biggest challenge for CyVee is how to scale up and recruit a critical mass user base, otherwise it would be not easy to find decent display ads revenue. Even much heavier trafficked business online news website VnEconomy is finding out that online display ads revenues are so small compared with its stable of magazines and newspapers, then how CyVee scale its growth is a thorny subject. The Chinese clone of LinkedIn is thinking of a “cooperation” with the original LinkedIn, so can we expect a similar move for CyVee? Of course not, at least until LinkedIn goes IPO, which might be a far future. Maybe CyVee should wait until Vietnamworks IPO in 2009, and sell to them or IPO with them.

    Scale. Monetize. Scale. These should be three biggest challenges to all Vietnamese social networking services. In the next few months, expect more Vietnamese SNS players to join the game just to see how they solve these three challenges.

    • Do Quang Tu 10:49 am on November 10, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      For Cyworld Vietnam, it is right to say that how Cyworld Vietnam does is still a big question. Cyworld Vietnam is still in phases of developing its user base, so there are many interesting things more to come in the near future.

      All I can tell now is that Cyworld Vietnam has never replicated any Korea phenomena or US-version. Taking advantage of Korean waves is not a good way, and it is obviously more adventurous than we ever think.

      Cyworld focuses on how person expresses his restrained feelings than his knowledge. This makes Cyworld totally different from any social network products. When you step into Cyworld, you’ll find it as a part of your life not your communication mean .Personally, I call it social network service with humanity technology.

      Thank you for your reviewing.

    • Hồng Quang 5:23 am on November 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Just my 2 cents:

      + CyWorld.vn: If it had 500.000 users as expected this year, it could reach break-even point soon. Passionate users would be willing to pay, others (like me 😉 ) are not active frequently. No problem with monetization, just how to attract more users.

      + Yeuamnhac: Not sure why IDG invested in this; just to fill its investment categories?

      + YoBanBe: I’ve got a review at web2vietnam.wordpress.com. It now has opportunity to gain users from Y!360 if Yahoo cannot immigrate data to new platform nicely.

      + Clip.vn: It did great job in cloning YouTube for VN users. Yet, like YouTube, monetization is big question.

      + CyVee: I like its ideas and visit it daily now. But I’m a geek; the true market is normal users.

      I suppose IDG does not worry much about monetization; if just VinaGame IPO gets success, they will get back all investment or even better. I know stock market in VN is crazy now (like in China), no rational thinking here.

    • HarryD 10:59 am on November 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Quang: Great insights. I’m quite sure VinaGame will be very successful when it IPO, even Zing franchise is a failure. Pitiful that I could not write on an evaluation of VinaGame, as lacking key data from them. Hope one day this can be done. CyWorld’s 500,000 landmark should be not an easy task.

      @Tu: CyWorld’s value propositioning is unique, and strong enough in Vietnam. I’m quite sure about its future success, but adapting the business model for Vietnam between fee-based and ad-based or something in between should be your biggest question and it would guide your next expansion plan.

    • Khoa Pham 12:45 pm on November 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      It’s true that Cyvee, the new vnSpoke, has got very good user engagement. The booming metrics speak for itself:


      Great job on this!

      However, if you pay attention to the registration statistics, the number of users still remain pretty flat over the last few weeks (around 12,000). Cyvee users are pretty educated and affluent, so big money will follow once they solve the scaling issue.

    • Hồng Quang 9:04 am on November 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot find where CyWorld VN announced its subscribers. Need some stats for small research. Could you give me a hint, HarryD?

    • HarryD 2:05 pm on November 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Quang: The number of 100,000 members is Cyworld Vietnam’s claim and was published on some Vietnamese media as a result of their PR work. You can find a reflection at this link: http://itvns.net/diendan/showthread.php?p=22144

      I’ve got no idea how they’re doing since they last announced this 100,000 firgure in Sep.

    • Hồng Quang 2:55 am on November 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @HarryD: Thanks a lot. I found the original source in PC World Vietnam.

    • Do Quang Tu 6:29 pm on November 17, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Harry:

      As a person who is responsible for PR activities of Cyworld Vietnam, I can assure that we have achieved more than 100,000 members since early 2007. The growing speed of our member scale is still fast and stable. We are looking forward to opening new services and expanding the scale in the future.

      Yours sincerely,

    • HarryD 4:05 pm on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Tu for the confirmation and make it clear for everyone this is real, and all kind wishes to your team’s efforts.

    • Danhbaweb20.com 8:10 am on May 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Bài viết phân tích của bạn rất hay. Cám ơn nhiều !

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