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VN startup refuses opportunity in US, stays in homeland

IMWI was once offered investment capital of $300,000 in exchange for 5 percent of shares, plus a promise to help obtain the right to settle down in the US, but it decided to stay in Vietnam to manufacture robotic arms.
Doan Hong Trung, the founder and CEO of IMWI

Doan Hong Trung, the founder and CEO of IMWI, caught special attention from investors at Shark Tank, a TV show for startups, to call for investment. The company specializes in robotic arms used in industrial production lines and artificial intelligence (AI).

It currently has three versions of robotic arms. Delta X1 is designed with open source code for education purposes, research laboratories and the community of robot lovers. Delta X2 is used in R&D laboratories  for experiments. Delta XS, the industrial version, is the flagship of the startup. 

The prices of Delta robots are unaffordable to individuals and organizations with limited financial capability. So the startup decided to create Delta X at reasonable prices.

The revenue of the startup was VND4.1 billion with gross profit of VND3.2 billion and net profit of VND1.5 billion. Trung believes that when his startup can call for capital and organize mass production, he will be able to sell 3,000 products after 1-2 years.

IMWI’s current clients are startups and businesses providing automation systems that buy robots to build systems, or terminal users who want to bring solutions to their factories.

In the last two years, IMWI has received clients from 45 countries, mostly in the US and Europe. It also has a big order from a protective mask producer from South Korea.

According to Trung, the special feature about IMWI’s technology lies in the firmware as it can fix all the defects of cheap mechanical engineering and electronic components. This explains the low production cost of the robots. 

IMWI plans to build a factory and an ecosystem of robotic arms. Therefore, it came to Shark Tank Vietnam to call for investments, offering two options - $300,000 for 5 percent of shares, and $1.5 million for 20 percent of shares.

Trung said two years ago, he received an offer from a client to invest $50,000 in exchange for 5% of shares. More recently, he received an offer to invest $300,000 for 5% of shares and the promise to help go to the US for one year to install a production line of 1,000 robots. But he refused the offer.

“Over the last two years, we have received a lot of offers to build factories in Europe, India and Canada, but we have refused the orders because we want to do this in Vietnam,” Trung said.

“My purpose is creating jobs for people, not just making profit for myself,” Trung said.

Trong Dat

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