Motivated by his love for mobile technology, Do Tuan Anh launched several other companies in the mobile realm. Several of his initial ventures, however, were not the business successes he hoped for. While Anh launched one of the first companies to come out of the smartphone boom at the time, he also realized that his previous startups lacked the potential for globalization.
When I first started my business, it was just about business, and nothing more. The concept about startups did not exist. I did it because I wanted to start a business, make a living, and create my own legacy. A startup usually means a business with one or two friends, or selling something to the locals. ‘Thinking global’ might be a fluffy concept, but it is very important. It is hard for a business to scale, let alone go global.
Despite having considerable experience launching companies, Anh’s success as an entrepreneur was hindered by a lack of expertise and clout. Regardless, Anh refused to give up on his original goal of building a prosperous company in the mobile technology market. However, he knew that in order to succeed, he would have to employ a new, more unique approach than he had before. Realizing the need for a stronger network, improved business sense and a larger network, Anh joined the Hanoi Founder Institute in 2012.
I strongly encourage startups to join Founder Institute, or any other accelerator programs. You can learn so much from it.
During his time with the Founder Institute, Anh developed Appota as one of Vietnam’s most auspicious mobile startups. A mobile content distribution platform, Appota enables developers and game publishers to effectively distribute their content to smartphone communities throughout Southeast Asia. Since its inception in 2011, Appota has partnered with more than 10,000 developers and advertisers worldwide, including NHN, Kakao, Line, Metaps, InMobi, VNG, VTC Online, and FPT Online to deliver localized content to users.
The idea originated from my desire to make every smartphone user be able to access mobile content, and at the same time developers could bring their apps to users easily and cost-effectively. Also, as smartphone usage becomes the future, it is natural that the market will need a platform to bridge the demand and supply gap between developers and users.
Today, under Anh's leadership, Appota employs a workforce of nearly 300 employees, and has branches in four cities throughout Southeast Asia. One of Appota’s more notable achievements is their recent acquisition of 22 million users across the region after little more than three years in business.
- December 2015: Appota is featured in E27
- September 2011: Appota valued at $1M
- March 2014: Appota secures Series B funding
- November 2015: Appota looking at a fundraising in the range of “tens of million US dollars” for their Series C
- April 2017: Appota raised a successful Series C round at a $50MM valuation
- January 2018: Appota received a seven figure investment from South Korea’s TNK Factory