Finding food that suit your preferences with just several taps

It's not always easy to find the food you want in a new place, which is why apps like GoEat Me are stepping in to bridge the gap between tasty bites and the stomach.

Finding food that suit your preferences with just several taps
A customer uses GoEat Me to find restaurants. — VNS Photo Doan Tung

“Food-lovers are what people call us, we look for delicious food to taste when we discover a new place. We realised there is room to improve the way people look for food and restaurants no whether they're at home, in the office, or travelling. So basically, we did it because of our passion,” said Viet Pham, founder and CEO of GoEat GmbH – a start-up located in the heart of Luzern, Switzerland.

“We test this idea with 1,000 people. It turned out, we were not alone. People are still looking for a better solution that can help them discover what to eat nearby in an innovative way, a personalised recommendation.”

He said they decided to start in Vietnam to introduce Vietnamese food to foreign visitors.

Vietnam has many delicious dishes such as phở (noodle soup), bánh mỳ (baguette) and bún chả (grilled pork). However, not all tourists and even residents know the best spots for each dish, Viet said.

“The idea was nurtured by me and Kevin Quan Nguyen when both of us were working for a wealth management company in Switzerland.”

“The minimum viable product (MVP) was bootstrapped by me thanks to my little knowledge of computer sciences and web development, we gained a lot of achievements and awareness with that MVP,” he said.

“However, we realised that we could not go on sustainably without a real CTO [Chief Technology Officer]. Luck came to us by bringing Phong to the team, his project at university was similar to GoEat Me and he was interested in being part of this journey."

According to Tran Nam Phong, co-founder of GoEat Me, they faced many challenges in the past two years since founding the firm.

“At the very beginning stage, we knew exactly what technology we should use, how we were developing and testing. However, we didn't know how to launch the product and grow it in the right way. How to reach our target audience. How we measure our achievements,” he said.

“Just like any other start-up, we did not take any salary at the beginning until we got funded. The product was beta launched after five months since the participation of Phong,” said Viet.

“Challenges create an exciting journey, we love but also hate it. By entering this journey, founders likely have to face the problems of finding the right people, having enough capital to survive until the company gets funded and securing the next round of funding, and last but not least maintaining the start-up spirit of the whole team.”

Finding the right people was tough because as a leader with limited resources, it was difficult to ask for commitments with an unsure future.

“I was a lucky founder when I found the right people to join the adventure and to share the challenges. In the journey, founders may have to face team members or even people you trust the most left. But what's meant to be is meant to be. Just move on! Giving shares is also a way to incentivise employees to contribute to the company and develop it together with the founders," Viet added.

Viet said fundraising was time-consuming and expensive. A deal could take from six to nine months on average to close, costing a lot of mental and physical stamina to get over the line.

 

When they first raised capital, they thought it would be easy to get more but had to quickly learn to be aware of the company’s cash flow to avoid running out of money.

As fundraising was a tough period, team members would tend to relax after money was secured, however, Viet told them this was just the beginning.

According to him, the most difficult moment was when their investment proposal was rejected by investors as it hurt the motivation of the whole team.

“We then figured out that we are not the only ones who suffer that in this world, just because we did not have enough experience to face what we would have to face,” Viet said, adding that they finally found two investors after a few months of looking.

To compete with big players on the market, GoEat Me uses machine learning to deliver unique culinary experiences by personalising recommendations based on user preferences, habits, location, allergies, and outer factors, such as weather, time and traffic.

“We maximise user satisfaction to maximise conversion rate to bookings, which drives more traffic and transactions to big players,” he said.

Their efforts have paid off as GoEat Me has gained several achievements including a silver medal, the Swiss Innovation Challenge 2018, being named among the top 40 Food tech at KickStart Accelerator 2018 and among the top 10 Vietnam Startup Wheel 2019.

“We love to be part of competitions, it’s a chance for us to know where we are standing at and what other founders are doing,” Viet said.

Attending events is also an opportunity to enlarge their network and create chances to meet potential investors/members.

When asked about plans for the future, Viet said they hoped to partner with a local company to bring table reservation feature to foreigners so they won’t have to download different apps when travelling to Vietnam.

“We aim at becoming the most popular food app and food community in Europe within the next five years and in Asia from the sixth year onwards,” Phong said.

“Until this day I'm not saying that we know everything we need. But we know how to move on and how our journey will be like. It comes from a continuous process of learning. We read books, met some awesome people, talked with our prospective users. Last but not least, we're learning by doing,” he said. — VNS

Mai Hien

Battle among super-apps heats up

Battle among super-apps heats up

The saying ‘even beggars in China also have QR Code’ shows the great impact WeChat has in China. Grab, Zalo, Go-Viet, be and Now are also struggling to become the super-app with similar level of influence in Vietnam.

Vietnam, Japan promote investment to develop food chains

Vietnam, Japan promote investment to develop food chains

Vietnam and Japan have achieved many positive outcomes in agriculture cooperation, and the two sides will continue working together to build sustainable food value chains in the near future.

 
 

Other News

.
Google tells staff to work home due to coronavirus
Google tells staff to work home due to coronavirus
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/03/2020 

Parent company Alphabet is the latest tech firm to make such a move as the outbreak spreads in the US.

Rare white giraffes killed by poachers in Kenya
Rare white giraffes killed by poachers in Kenya
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/03/2020 

Rangers found the carcasses of a female and her calf in a village in north-eastern Kenya.

Couple volunteers to collect rubbish on weekends
Couple volunteers to collect rubbish on weekends
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/03/2020 

Ho Phi Quyet dons her boots and gloves, and picks up a big bag every weekend to collect rubbish around his neighbourhood.

Local Vsmart phones reports better sales than Apple in retail channel
Local Vsmart phones reports better sales than Apple in retail channel
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/03/2020 

 Phones made by local manufacturer Vsmart have surpassed those of US giant Apple, in terms of retail revenue in the Vietnamese market in January.

Cybersecurity in Vietnam sees positive changes in 2019
Cybersecurity in Vietnam sees positive changes in 2019
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/03/2020 

The number of detections of web threats in Vietnam fell by more than 30 per cent last year compared to 2018, with 75 million different Internet-borne cyberthreats, according to Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) 2019.

Central Vietnam at high risk of drought: official
Central Vietnam at high risk of drought: official
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/03/2020 

The central region is at high risk of drought from March to May, the remaining months of this dry season, said Deputy Director of the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting Vu Duc Long said on March 9.

Super-cheap smartphone program brings golden opportunities to Vsmart
Super-cheap smartphone program brings golden opportunities to Vsmart
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/03/2020 

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) on March 2 announced a program on popularizing smartphones to 100 percent of the population.

Mekong Delta gets VND70 billion for seawater intrusion control
Mekong Delta gets VND70 billion for seawater intrusion control
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/03/2020 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a plan to provide VND70 billion to five Mekong Delta provinces – Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Kien Giang and Ca Mau – to respond to ongoing problems with seawater intrusion and drought.

Water management in Vietnam needs to be flexible
Water management in Vietnam needs to be flexible
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/03/2020 

Chau Tran Vinh, deputy director of the Water Resources Management Department, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, talks about the need to adopt a flexible plan to cope with the severe droughts in the Mekong Delta.

Fresh water sent to areas hit by saltwater intrusion
Fresh water sent to areas hit by saltwater intrusion
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/03/2020 

Fresh water supplies are being transported from HCM City to Mekong Delta provinces that have been affected by severe saltwater intrusion during the dry season.

Five Mekong Delta provinces declare state of emergency over seawater intrusion
Five Mekong Delta provinces declare state of emergency over seawater intrusion
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  08/03/2020 

Local authorities in Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Long An, Kien Giang and Ca Mau provinces in the Mekong Delta have declared a state of emergency as seawater intrusion and drought are worsening in the delta.

Vietnamese mobile phone companies unable to compete with foreign giants
Vietnamese mobile phone companies unable to compete with foreign giants
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  08/03/2020 

Vietnamese mobile phone manufacturers face severe competition, and struggling to retain market share, from foreign players across segments, experts warn.

Environment Ministry puts four weather radar stations into operation
Environment Ministry puts four weather radar stations into operation
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  07/03/2020 

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) said it has put four weather radar stations into operation in northern and central regions in an attempt to increase the accuracy of weather forecasts.

Eliminating wildlife markets amid Covid-19 is an uphill task as local officials neglect responsibility
Eliminating wildlife markets amid Covid-19 is an uphill task as local officials neglect responsibility
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  08/03/2020 

Over 1,500 cases of violations of laws on wildlife protection were discovered within the 2013-2017 period.

Scientist tackles Alzheimer's and cancer
Scientist tackles Alzheimer's and cancer
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  08/03/2020 

A female university lecturer is leading a group of scientists in the battle against dementia.

More than 24,300 rooftop solar projects installed
More than 24,300 rooftop solar projects installed
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  06/03/2020 

More than 24,300 rooftop solar projects have been installed this month, with a total capacity of 465.8 megawatt peak (MWp).

COVID-19 quick test kits to be manufactured
COVID-19 quick test kits to be manufactured
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  06/03/2020 

Research on a test kit for early COVID-19 discovery has been successful, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on March 5.

Vietnamese smartphone brands find it difficult to grow in home market
Vietnamese smartphone brands find it difficult to grow in home market
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/03/2020 

Dozens of Vietnamese mobile phone brands once existed in the domestic market, but now only a few brands remain.

Expired cars still in circulation
Expired cars still in circulation
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  07/03/2020 

As of the end of 2019, Vietnam had over 16,000 additional expired cars still in circulation out of the total 206,000 cars. They are a threat to traffic safety and environment.

Mekong Delta provinces adapt to drought, saltwater intrusion
Mekong Delta provinces adapt to drought, saltwater intrusion
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  06/03/2020 

Provinces in the Mekong Delta are taking prompt actions to help local residents adapt to drought and saltwater intrusion during the dry season.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN