By P.Nam – Translated by Kim Khanh
By P.Nam – Translated by Kim Khanh
Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn is the latest big tech name to invest in Vietnamese startup Loship
Tallinn’s investment in Loship puts him on a list of global tech leaders betting on Vietnamese tech startups, which has shown resilience and growth even amidst COVID-19. Thus, Loship is poised to become a prominent tech figure for any seasoned investor looking at Vietnam, according to Loship CEO Trung Hoang Nguyen.
“MetaPlanet’s investment will help us build a much stronger image of Loship as a National Startup Hero. The competition will be much steeper in the long term, and we hope to pick up deep tech insights from Jaan Tallinn that can be applied to the Vietnam market,” he further opined.
The latest fundraising, which is part of the startup’s Series C round, comes just four months after its undisclosed bridge round led by Vulpes Investment Management. The new funding would fuel Loship’s path to becoming Vietnam’s leading one-hour-delivery e-commerce platform.
“We already have a winning playbook, and we look to expand it to more markets. Secondly, we know what we want to do with our product, and there are just 1 per cent of things that have been done. So, a huge portion of the funding will be poured into upgrading our app and increasing our tech capability. Also, we will ramp up marketing strategies to strengthen our foothold in the existing markets,” stated the CEO.
Founded in 2017, Loship traces its roots back to Lozi , a review app allowing users to find food, beverage, and coffee shops, before transitioning into a one-hour-delivery services platform. Loship had earlier closed its Series A and B rounds from several investors, including South Korea’s Smilegate Investment, Hana Financial Group, DTNI, Golden Gate Ventures, before announcing its Vulpes Investment Management-led bridge round in October 2020. The round was joined by DAAL Ventures and Wealth Well (Saudi Arabia-based VC Firms), Eucagi Ventures (Nigerian VC Firm), KI Group, and the vice president of Starbucks.
By Thanh Van
|ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, CA – FEBRUARY 23: A sign for the Genesis Invitational golf tournament is seen on the door of the car that golf legend Tiger Woods was driving when seriously injured in a rollover accident on February 23, 2021 in Rolling Hills Estates, California. Rescuers used hydraulic rescue tools to extricate him from the car where he reportedly sustained major leg injuries. Law enforcement reports that there was no evidence of impairment. He was in town to participate in the tournament. (David McNew/Getty Images/AFP)|
Woods did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the early-morning incident, and underwent surgery after the roll-over collision, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
No other vehicles or passengers were involved in the crash which occurred on a steep stretch of road known as an accident “hotspot,” where Woods was travelling at “a greater speed than normal,” said the sheriff.
“I will say that it’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first officer to arrive on scene.
Gonzalez found Woods trapped in his vehicle but conscious, appearing “calm and lucid” and able to identify himself to the deputy as “Tiger.”
“It is my understanding that he had serious injuries to both legs,” said Los Angeles County fire chief Daryl Osby, describing Woods’ condition as “stable.”
Firefighters and paramedics extricated Woods from the wreckage of his SUV and transported him with a neck collar and backboard to a local hospital via road, where he underwent surgery.
There was “no evidence of impairment at this time” including any influence of narcotics, mediciation or alcohol, said Villanueva, adding that the crash remained “subject to investigation.”
He added that no blood was drawn at the scene of the crash because the sheriff’s office does not have that capability.
Woods, one of the most successful golfers of all time, has won 15 major golf championships.
He recently underwent his fifth back surgery, and said he was uncertain if he will be able to play at the upcoming Masters, which he last won in 2019.
Woods, 45, was in the area for his annual Genesis Invitational golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club, and was driving a courtesy car on the morning of the crash.
“We are awaiting further information when he comes out of surgery. On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.
– ‘True champion’ –
The crash occurred near the hilly Palos Verdes peninsula, at the bottom of a steep stretch of road which has runaway truck ramps for vehicles that lose control going downhill.
The section has become notorious for fatal accidents over the years.
“Apparently the first contact was with the center median, and from there (the car) crossed into the opposing lane of traffic, hit the curb, hit a tree, and there was several rollovers during that process,” said Villanueva, who did not provide a cause of the crash.
The car ended up several hundred feet from the inital impact, lying on its side on a patch of grass some distance off the road, with its hood badly damaged.
News of the crash spread rapidly around the sport world and beyond, with figures inside and outside golfing swift to send their prayers and best wishes to Woods.
Skier Lindsey Vonn, Woods’ former girlfriend, tweeted: “Praying for TW right now.”
“Sending my prayers to @TigerWoods and his family tonight — here’s to a speedy recovery for the GOAT of golf,” said former US president Barack Obama.
“If we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s to never count Tiger out.”
Fellow ex-president Donald Trump, speaking to Fox, urged Woods to “get better and get out there because we all miss him.”
– ‘Deeply concerned’ –
Woods was one of the most revered athletes in the world when he became engulfed in scandal in late 2009.
He smashed his car into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his luxury Florida home, sparking a series of scandalous revelations that doomed his marriage and put his game in freefall.
He later divorced from his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren, with whom he has two children, after a cascade of women came forward to say they had affairs with the golfer, making him fodder for tabloids around the world.
Woods underwent four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017.
In May 2017, Woods was arrested near his Florida home for being asleep at the wheel of his car in a traffic lane.
Woods said he had taken prescription drugs and pleaded guilty to reckless driving.
But he made an astonishing comeback to win the Masters in 2019, his first major title since 2008.
He is the winner of 82 US PGA titles, level with Sam Snead for the all-time record.
In 2000-2001, while aged just 25, Woods became the first man to hold the US Open, British Open, the USPGA and the Masters titles at the same time.
Woods remains three major victories shy of the all-time record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus.
“Barbara and I just heard about Tiger’s accident, and like everyone else, we are deeply concerned,” tweeted Nicklaus.
“We want to offer him our heartfelt support and prayers at this difficult time. Please join us in wishing Tiger a successful surgery and all the best for a full recovery.”
* China and India should firmly follow the right path of mutual trust and cooperation between neighboring major countries, and not go astray with suspicion and distrust nor fall back on a road of negative retrogression, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday. Wang made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, stressing that the two sides should maintain the strategic consensuses reached by their leaders.
* As COVID-19 transmission rates seemingly decline across the European Region, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge expressed health concerns over “long-COVID” or “post-COVID” symptoms at a virtual press conference on Thursday.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Armenia in a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday, the Kremlin said.
* The Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that the US military had conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria. The Pentagon called the operation a “proportionate military response” carried out after consultations with coalition partners.
* China approved two more vaccines for public use, raising the number of domestically produced vaccines that can be used in China to four.
* Japan on Friday is preparing to lift the state of emergency over COVID-19 for five prefectures where the situation has improved, although the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area will likely be kept under the emergency period for the time being, according to government sources.
* The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported on Friday 2,651 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase since Oct. 17 last year, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 571,327.
* Leaders of the European Union (EU) called for an accelerated production and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines late on Thursday as the bloc is struggling with supply shortfalls.
* Brazil surpassed 250,000 COVID-19 deaths, while France and Germany said COVID-19 is here to stay after European Union leaders discussed ways to fight new variants of the virus, step up inoculations and save Europe’s tourism industry from another ruinous summer.
* Europe’s medicines regulator issued new guidance for drug makers that modify their vaccines to protect against variants of the virus to speed up the approval process.
* France will bring in new restrictions for the Moselle area around its common border with Germany, and impose measures including weekend lockdowns in Paris and 19 other regions from the start of March if signs of the coronavirus accelerating persist.
* Australia’s Victoria state will start easing restrictions from Friday night.
* Republic of Korea launched its inoculation campaign, with shots to be administered in some 200 nursing homes.
* US President Joe Biden’s administration plans to launch a campaign to educate Americans about vaccines in anticipation of a period later this year where supply may outstrip demand because of vaccine hesitancy.
* Brazil will purchase 20 million doses of the vaccine made by India’s Bharat Biotech for delivery between March and May.
* Canada’s vaccination campaign is ramping up after earlier supply disruptions and the number of inoculations last week hit a five-week high.
* Pfizer and BioNTech said they are testing a third dose of their vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus.
* Mexico’s economy grew quicker than first estimated during the fourth quarter as the country recovered from its sharpest economic contraction in nearly nine decades.
* Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have fallen to the lowest level since 1995 as coronavirus restrictions limited travel. Data released by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources on Friday revealed that emissions fell by 4.4 percent in the 12 months to September 2020.
* Security personnel of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) rescued more than 80 Rohingya refugees who had been onboard a boat drifting in the waters of Andaman Sea for 10 days, and retrieved eight dead bodies.
* Republic of Korea’s quarantine authorities said Friday that it will extend the country’s five-tier social-distancing rules at the third-highest level in the Seoul metropolitan area for two weeks.
* US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he would work to make US-Saudi relations “as strong and transparent as possible.” Biden made the remarks in the first phone conversation with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud since Biden’s inauguration.
* Germany’s Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure said on Wednesday that more than EUR5 billion (US$6.1 billion) would be invested in the modernization of over 3,000 railway stations across the country.
* Colombian President Ivan Duque announced a decision Thursday night to extend a declared national health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic by three more months, as the vaccination drive entered its eighth day.
* AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot said he hoped to meet the EU’s expectations on the number of vaccines the company can deliver to the bloc in the second quarter.
* The Czech prime minister said people’s movement needed to be “radically” limited over at least the next three weeks.
* Portugal extended until at least mid-March a nationwide lockdown.
* The African Union is backing calls for drugmakers to waive some intellectual property rights on COVID-19 medicines and vaccines.
* Israel has frozen its programme to send vaccines abroad to buy international goodwill, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said, after the initiative came under legal scrutiny.
* Bahrain has approved Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine for emergency use.
VietBank’s president has unexpectedly resigned and his position has been transferred to a former government official.
VietBank’s chair of the board of directors Bui Xuan Khu
VietBank has announced that Duong Ngoc Hoa resigned from the post of chair of the board of directors on February 23 and the office has been taken by Bui Xuan Khu, who was Deputy Minister of Industry Trade.
Khu became a member of the bank’s board of directors in 2011 after he retired. Later, he acted as deputy chair of the board of directors until he was appointed president of the bank.
Khu is the next former high-ranking official to become a bank president. Le Thi Bang Tam, former Deputy Minister of Finance, is now president of HDBank and president of Vinamilk.
Tam joined Vinamilk in 2013 as an independent member of the board of directors. She has been president of the nation’s leading dairy producer since 2015 and president of HDBank since 2010. She is also a senior advisor to some foreign financial institutions.
A lot of former government officials became businessmen after their retirement. Tran Xuan Gia, former Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Xuan Gia, became the president of ACB in 2008-2012. Gia, together with a lot of former senior managers of the bank, including Ly Xuan Hai, Le Vu Ky and Trinh Kim Quang, were investigated in a case related to Nguyen Duc Kien, or ‘Mogul Kien’.
Kieu Huu Dung, former director of the Banks and Non-bank Credit Institutions Department, served as president of Sacombank in 2014-2017. He later became president of ACB Securities and president of Sacombank Securities.
The other officials included Pham Viet Muon, who was Vice Chairman of the Government Office, Cao Sy Kiem, former Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and Truong Van Phuoc, former head of SBV’s Foreign Exchange Management Department.
Former Deputy Minister Bui Xuan Khu, who joined VietBank in 2011, also has a lot of business experience as he was general director of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Corporation (Vinatex), the largest garment producer in Vietnam, general director of Viet Tien Garment and deputy president of the Global Petroleum Investment JSC.
In mid-2019, VietBank put VBB shares into transactions on the bourse.
VietBank was established in December 2006 as a rural bank with charter capital of VND200 billion. Its founding shareholders have relations with Hoa Lam Group, ACB and Dieu Hien Company. The bank now has charter capital of VND4.19 trillion after five capital increases.
ACB has divested from VietBank, while Dieu Hien is no longer mentioned in documents and information about the bank. The shareholders from Hoa Lam Group still maintain their stake with Duong Ngoc Hoa as the representative. Duong Nhat Nguyen is now deputy chair of the bank.
The project is among those to be submitted for approval at the group’s annual shareholders’ meeting, which is slated for March 14.
The meeting will also discuss an investment in building a 23-ha care centre for the elderly in the northern city of Hai Phong’s Thuy Nguyen district as well as Hapaco’s new development orientations in social housing and guest worker services.
Hapaco (stock code HAP) was one of the first listed on Vietnam’s stock market. As of December 31 last year, its total asset exceeded more than 808 billion VND.
Last year, the group reeled in 335 billion VND in revenue, an annual decrease of 11 percent. Its after-tax profit, meanwhile, hit 34.3 billion VND, up 69 percent on-year./.