By Linh Nguyen
The shopping habits of consumers have shifted significantly from offline to online in recent years due to the explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Quick to catch on to the changing consumer landscape, F99, a Vietnamese tech startup has achieved brilliant success benefitting not only the enterprise itself but also the fruit industry and farming community. Let’s have a look at their success story.
We all know that fruit is considered a “sensitive” product of agriculture that is highly dependent on natural conditions and is labor intensive, making it hard to ensure and retain the quality thereof, taking into consideration a variety of factors such as technique of harvesting and residue levels of pesticides and fertilizers; then there are issues of transportation and storage to preserve fruits because a slight change in weather or a slight mistake in any part of the supply chain can lead to deterioration and loss. For example, in order to keep lychee fresh, farmers must harvest them at 2-3 am. After being harvested from the tree, if the fresh lychee is not preserved well, the fruit will wilt and change color after only a few hours, which affects its saleability in terms of appearance. All of these matters have raised challenges for the sales of fruits, and have been addressed by the smart solution introduced by F99 – a startup established at the end of 2019 and operated by a young CEO with the aim of linking suppliers to consumers as well as helping farmers access technology.
F99 is one of Vietnam’s pioneer online platforms facilitating the online sales of fruits and foods, with orders fulfilled via home delivery, which is the reality of the CEO’s “digital agricultural products” dream after 9 years of nurturing. It creates a better shopping option for food and fruits in the era of Industry 4.0, bringing a new experience to Vietnamese users and helping them save time, money and effort for their personal healthcare and nutrition.
With this platform, users on F99 can easily search, select and buy imported and domestic fresh fruits; orders will be quickly processed and shipped to the buyers. There are a series of outstanding utilities, namely smart search function, flexible filter options, “buying in group” function to enjoy the wholesale prices, and suggestion function based on AI integration technology to provide each user with the most suitable suggestion of products. Despite being newbie in the technology circle, this platform currently serves more than 300,000 users, and the number of visitors is increasing every day. F99 supports its suppliers and farmers with various campaigns, leading to the consumption of over 300 tons of agricultural products so far. In the current complicated COVID-19 situation, F99 brings profits for farmers and also meets the demand of consumers who cannot purchase fruits frequently due to social distancing measures. It is expected to become one of the most effective online distribution channels for Vietnamese agricultural products, and has been highly appreciated by investors.
The above story of success is one of various examples of how the transformation of creativity to intellectual property assets can bring success to startups. It demonstrates the importance of IP assets and emphasizes the need to protect them from the very beginning. While many startups prefer not to spend their time and money on their branding and simply copy their competitor’s identity or current internet trends, F99 recognised that protecting their IP was crucial to their growth in this new venture from early on. With this in mind, they registered the following trademark applications in 2020, just few months after being established:
This registration of trademarks helps them build their reputation and solidify their presence on the e-commerce platforms. The first mark, as their master trademark, is also used as the icon for their mobile apps while the two other trademarks are used for specific products – natural nutritional food.
This is the story of a startup with impressive success, where one of the contributing factors is their vision of strategic branding and protection of their IP assets from early on. If you share the same vision, KASS can be your companion in your new venture. We are always here to assist startups in strategizing and pursuing the protection of IP rights for their IP assets (trademarks, copyrights, patents, designs, or any other form of registrable IP assets), and ensuring they respect IP belonging to others. Need help with this in Vietnam? Reach out to us at email@example.com!