Co-founders of Vietnam’s e-learning platform talk about raising funds, expansion plans and entering the B2B space, among other things
In a bid to support Vietnam’s rising young population, Minh Nguyen first set up DeltaViet, a social network for members supporting each other’s personal development, in 2009. The site grew to 100,000 users, but was later shut down due to unforeseen circumstances.
Later, in 2012, Minh met Hieu Nguyen, the current Co-founder and Partnership Director at DeltaViet at the Founder Institute programme. There, they were both mentored by Tuan Pham, Founder and CEO, TOPICA, who steered them to think about US-based e-learning marketplace Udemy.
The duo told e27, “After thorough research, we initiated another project marking a breakthrough in skills training in Vietnam, still named DeltaViet, based on* the model of Udemy.”
However, the oddest thing about DeltaViet is that even though it is an e-learning platform, it refuses to call its users ‘students’. “We consider ourselves a marketplace to exchange knowledge, instead of a school,” said Minh and Hieu.
Instructors can record videos of themselves at DeltaViet’s facilities, edit their lessons before uploading and publishing them on the official website, and promote the same.
Having officially launched in May 2013, there are currently 20 courses on the platform, which has acquired more than 25,000 users (out of which, 11,000 are paying customers). Courses include anger management, SMS marketing, communication skills, emotion management, IT skills, and guitar lessons, amongst others.
Users can buy scratch cards with prepaid dollars loaded, and use the credits on the platform. The company uses a revenue-share model with its instructors, who can also hold free courses to attract more consumers.
Funds to create a fun learning environment
At the moment, DeltaViet is still a bootstrapped startup with no external investments. However, the company is actively fundraising for US$300,000 for the next two years of operations. It wishes to use the funds to achieve the following:
- Hit 20 per cent of business-to-consumer market, which equals 1.6 million users
- Sell training solutions to 150 enterprises in Vietnam
The two also shared their marketing plans with e27, “… We have spent effort to develop, promote a Facebook Fanpage and a blog in order to attract traffic from those who care and want to develop their skill-sets.” The blog has become an effective tool to attract organic users through search engines. They added that they receive up to 300,000 visits per month, with a conversion rate of 0.15 per cent (from non-user to user) and 40 per cent (from user to paid customer).
“Another free and effective marketing channel is word-of-mouth,” said Hieu and Minh. They added, “Being established by seasoned e-learning instructors and qualified course videos and course contents, Deltaviet has become organically viral among (the) community. Moreover, we are developing a YouTube channel with free, useful and (attractive) videos (for branding purposes).”
Currently, the company is in the final stage of signing a contract with Viettelstudy, an e-learning platform under Viettel Group, a telecom conglomerate in the Southeast Asian country.
In the next six months, the company is looking to recruit and hire more extensively, expand its market share in the business-to-consumer market with three times as many courses, double its revenue, develop a business-to-business segment for enterprises, and release web and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
*Minh has clarified with e27 that DeltaViet is based on the model of Udemy, rather than cloned as was earlier mentioned.