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  • HarryD 6:18 pm on December 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: IDG Ventures Vietnam,   

    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.

    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 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 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-

    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

    • Sonny 12:19 am on December 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      First, thanks for the interesting reviews.

      Second, “DDTH is acquired by VinaGame”, is it official or just rumor? Can you please give me any source of this info?

      Last, we all know not every video-sharing site will become another YouTube. Clip.vn is not really expecting a M&A, we want to build a sustainable business with Clip.vn. That’s the reason it experiments with ads very soon (8 months after launch). Clip.vn wants to prove its business model by making real money right from the beginning.

      Profit is the reason of existence of any business, isn’t it?

      Actually, among Web 2.0 Vietnamese companies, I believe Clip.vn is one of the first being able to monetize from online ads as a platform.

      (disclosure: I’m working for Vega, Clip.vn’s owner)

    • Roy 7:53 am on December 12, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      After reading some articles about Dream Viet, i have spent some time to find out some info about its core business. Surprisingly, it is a CNet’s clone. What ‘s more, Aha’s appearance looks the same CNET even though it was changed later.

      Btw, DDTH means “diendantinhoc”. If correct, i am so excited to see how much a VC is willing to pay for a forum in Vietnam.
      Thanks for your time. Best regards!

    • Tuấn - CSS questions 2:18 pm on December 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      All DDTH member will be so amazing when someone come to them and post a hot news “DDTH is acquired by VinaGame”. It may be the 1st scandal of this year in DDTH :D. Maybe I’ll reg a new nick and try it? shouldn’t I? We’ll know the truth from DDTH’s admin reaction. 😀

    • Hồng Quang 7:31 am on December 17, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve used Aha and found it quite useful — price comparison from many sources provides us overview of market.

      Chodiendu, in contrast, is not very impressive. Over a year ago, one of my friends, who is educational book publisher, submitted stuff to chodientu for 3 months and the result, you can guess, was no sales at all.

      About DDTH, I think, VinaGame bought it to get user base for Zing strategy — never know it’s smart or silly but if I had an account in the forum, I would not feel happy (in fact, I had one long ago) .

    • Spirit 9:54 pm on January 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, i’m a friend of ViKhoa from ddth.com. I don’t think VinaGame aquired ddth. What i know they just put their ads and VK also take some relationship from there.

      Now, VK’s working for VNG. But, he works with GAME, not Zing. Hope you can understand what i say.

    • Spirit 10:02 pm on January 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

  • HarryD 5:51 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , IDG Ventures Vietnam, 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!

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