This article is also available in Vietnamese.
OnMic, a voice-chatting and streaming platform that aims to facilitate authentic socializing experience in Vietnam has recently raised an undisclosed seed round from Touchstone Partners.
Since its official launch in June 2021, within just 6 months, the application has achieved over 11 million live minutes with more than 20,000 shows. While it may remind users of Clubhouse, OnMic is building a unique community bonding experience that does not rely on celebrities; rather, it is through the very arts of sharing authentically the ups and downs of life, love, careers and struggles especially throughout the pandemic among Gen-Z in Vietnam, OnMic has built a new category of its own in the hearts and minds of Vietnamese users.
OnMic provides a platform for Vietnamese youth to connect with one another through discussions about shared interests such as spirituality, traveling, career tips, investment advice and dating. Growth has been driven 100% organically through micro-KOLs and their networks. Users can easily engage an unlimited number of listeners by opening virtual chat rooms in only a few clicks. On OnMic, audience can interact directly with speakers by simply “raising hand” to come on stage. OnMic focuses 100% on audio content: it features no visuals and only minimal text, allowing content creators and consumers alike to focus entirely on the spoken word. It’s the very replication of Vietnam’s hustling coffee-chat scene, where young people are engaged in connections and conversations, except that they’re now doing that online but still exchanging real thoughts, emotions and even sending OnMic virtual gifts to appreciate content creators and speakers.
In the hustle and bustle of modern day living, spoken word content is growing more popular as a source for information and entertainment as users are more in control of the content, style, and presentation they consume. eMarketer estimates that as many as 325 million people in Asia spend 1.5 hours a day listening to audio content – 58% of whom consume such content every day. With more than 72 million active social media users, there is a huge market potential untapped in Vietnam. OnMic’s community-tailored content strategy gives the platform a clear advantage in a market where community building is a key factor to success.
Founded by Lam Kim (CTO), Khanh Nguyen (CEO) and Trung Nguyen (CGO), the founders came together during the pandemic lockdown. Lam, a Vietnamese engineer educated in Japan, has extensive experience in building mobile platforms for dating and games. He first thought about an OnMic-like product when he was working with Khanh on a digital staffing solution, pivoting from the idea of building voice-only tools for job interviews. When sensing that 2021 might have been the right market timing for such a product, the pair teamed up with Trung who has extensive advertising networks in Vietnam to build OnMic.
(From left to right: Lam Kim, Trung Nguyen, Khanh Nguyen)
Mr. Nguyen Bao Khanh, OnMic CEO, said: "We simply want to make OnMic a safe, warm, fun, exciting and intimate space for people to express themselves and talk about anything under the sun. The desire for genuine and authentic conversations is stronger than ever during COVID-19 pandemic, and OnMic has contributed to make life more breathable, sociable and less lonely. At the same time, OnMic has seen a new generation of audio-based content creators since its launch, so it initiated creator-first programs to help them flourish simply on the merit and quality of their ideas – without any need for visuals or content editing skills. In the future, OnMic will continue to develop new features and optimize the experience for users and content creators alike.”
Mr. Trung Nguyen, OnMic CGO, added: “This new interactive audio content platform will unleash new opportunities for brands to increase their brand consideration, establish brand trust and engage consumers in truly two-way dialogues. It will also help them to quite literally plant themselves on consumers and speakers’ tongues and become a ‘word of mouth’ sensation. The content creators are one way or another representing and helping brands reach the audience’s heart through the ears.”
Ms. Tu Ngo, General Partner of Touchstone Partners, commented: “We invest in OnMic as we believe in the power of a platform that serves to build trusted authentic communities especially around tens of millions of young digital natives of Vietnam, whose values and interests are quickly changing. OnMic has a great opportunity to provide both a diversity of communities and the depth of authentic conversations to help Vietnamese youth find their own identities, build their own values and most importantly, find where they belong to in this fast-changing world”.
As an audio-streaming platform developed by Vietnamese, OnMic provides features for creating voice-streaming chat rooms, allowing interaction between speakers and audiences. Instead of using text, images, or video to communicate, OnMic allows people to "gather" in chat rooms to listen and discuss various topics. OnMic creates a safe space for authentic connections and is a new playground for audio content creators.
To learn more about OnMic and download the app, please visit www.getonmic.com or email to: email@example.com
About Touchstone Partners:
Touchstone Partners is a Vietnam-focused venture capital firm. Touchstone Partners set out to be a supportive companion to founders in Vietnam, based on the strength of in-depth understanding of the Vietnamese market as well as a global network of connections, resonating the needs and aspirations of the founders. Current investment areas of Touchstone Partners include fintech, real estate, health technology, educational technology and technology initiatives that improve the efficiency of the value chains of important industries such as production and agriculture. Touchstone Partners wants to promote positive social development and set high standards for venture capital in Vietnam, proving that Vietnamese startup talents can deliver significant technology innovation and create a meaningful impact to society.
For further information, please visit: www.touchstone.vc or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org