Vietnam soy beverage startup raises another $2.4 million

By Vien Thong   May 8, 2019 | 06:02 pm PT
Vietnam soy beverage startup raises another $2.4 million
Soya Garden plans to have 100 stores in Vietnam by the end of 2019. Photo courtesy of Soya Garden
Startup Soya Garden has raised another $2.4 million as it seeks to expand further in the healthy beverages market.

Vietnamese education firm Egroup confirmed this recently, and it comes on top of the VND45 billion ($1.9 million) it had invested earlier this year.

Soya Garden, which claims to be Vietnam’s first organic soya chain, offers soy-based beverages mixed with coffee or tea.

Since its establishment in April 2016 it has increased the number of its stores from two to 33 and now claims to serve 500,000 customers a month in five cities and provinces.

Founder and CEO Hoang Anh Tuan said all the stores broke even within a few months. "However, Soya Garden and Egroup believe that we are still in the investment and expansion period, therefore we are focusing more on fine-tuning our business model than on profits."

Tuan, 30, came up with the idea during a trip to Singapore. "Vietnam’s food and beverage market is crowded, but not many are focusing on building a healthy lifestyle for their customers. We see an opportunity to create a new trend with soy beans."

It first secured a deal from Egroup on Shark Tank Vietnam in 2017.

It plans to have 100 stores in the country this year and 300 by 2021, and also eyes South Korea, Thailand and Japan as the next markets.

Soya Garden is also studying the possibility of making fast foods with healthy ingredients, and entering the fast moving consumer goods industry with soy-based products.

Vietnam is seeing a wave of startups in various areas as the government promotes privatization and entrepreneurship.

Last year startups attracted 92 major investment deals worth almost $900 million, three times the 2017 value, according to Hanoi-based startup accelerator Topica Founder Institute.

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