Soya Garden, a Vietnamese organic soybean beverage startup has today raised VND 20 billion (about US$880k) from Egroup, an education-focused corporation in Hanoi.
The investment came after the beverage company had impressed Egroup’s chairman Nguyen Ngoc Thuy on the first season of Shark Tank Vietnam.
Soya Garden’s co-founder CEO Hoang Anh Tuan confirmed the investment, adding that the deal has also secured the startup many opportunities, one notably is becoming a strategic partner to Singapore’s prominent soybean establishment – Mr. Bean Group Limited.
Mr. Bean Group is the leading brand of soy products with an established history of more than 20 years. The brand currently owns more than 65 retail stores in Singapore, Japan, and the Philippines.
According to Nguyen, he was convinced with the market opportunity for soybean beverages in Vietnam as well as Soya Garden’s business plans.
Vietnam is witnessing an increasing demand for soybeans and related products. According to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture, soybean imports are forecast to rise by 5% in Vietnam.
Nguyen also added that if the first round of investment was proven successful, the group may consider additional fundings in the startup.
Founded in 2016, Soya Garden currently has 13 stores, which includes 10 stores in Hanoi and three in other cities. The soybean beverage startup plans to develop a larger variety of products from soybean, offering it as an alternative to coffee and tea.
With the investment from Egroup, the company plans to hire more personnel and build the firm’s IT infrastructure to support its plans to open 30 new stores in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
On the other hand, Egroup is founded in 2008. It owns Apax Holdings which operates about 50 English language training centers across the country.