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Sky-rocket growth of the Vua Cua after Shark Tank show: More popular than Kichi Kichi, The Alley; aims to penetrate more than 8,000 German supermarkets


In the midst of a tense outbreak of Covid-19 in 2021, the entire F&B industry suffered, Shark Lien only spent 14 days appraising and pouring 3.5 billion VND for Vua Cua. Time gradually proved this was the correct decision.

Founded in 2016 with the beginning as a restaurant specializing in Ca Mau crabs, Vua Cua has attracted attention since May 2021 when participating in Shark Tank Vietnam season 4. Among the three options are Shark Nguyen Hoa Binh, Shark Pham Thanh Hung and Shark Do Lien, Vua Cua decided to “join the team” Shark Lien because they felt the most trustworthy and suitable.

“I chose Shark Lien without paying much attention to the number Shark gives, because in fact the amount of money is only a small part of what Shark can bring to Vua Cua,” said Doan Thi Anh Thu – CEO of Vua Cua.

Overcoming the pandemic by selling bread, vegetables with “huge” sales

The signal of prosperity came to Vua Cua almost immediately thanks to the “Shark Tank effect”. Only 7 days after the broadcast, the company’s sales increased by 30% compared to the previous month, website visits increased by 400%, hotline and Facebook fanpage inboxes were overloaded.

The appraisal process with Shark Lien’s team also took place “quickly”, despite the tense outbreak of Covid-19 in Ho Chi Minh City. Within 14 days, Vua Cua received VND 3.5 billion for 10% of the shares from Shark Lien as promised on television, even though the F&B industry was in a severe crisis at that time.

“In my opinion, right now, you really need a hand to hold you, give you warmth and motivation, and give you strength in the fight against the epidemic storm to protect your own startup boat”, shared Shark Lien.

Not disappointing investors, CEO Anh Thu made a decisive move to help Vua Cua overcome the pandemic: selling bread, dumplings, spring rolls, spring rolls, vegetables – essential items everyone needs.

Sharing in the Startup Café program in September 2021, Anh Thu said that with the price of 45,000 VND/bag, King Crab’s bread sales reached 1.5 billion VND/month. In terms of vegetables and fruits, the consumption quantity is 30 tons per month. Thanks to the application of technology to corporate governance, Vua Cua also tightened the cancellation rate of fruit and vegetable products to less than 5%, even though it was the first time selling this product.

The social distancing period also helped Anh Thu realize a great opportunity to develop Vua Cua Food – a canned product line that includes seafood combined with sauces, which only need to be defrosted and reheated.

The dream of bringing Vietnamese crab to the world and the goal of bringing the product to more than 8,000 German supermarkets

When the pandemic subsided, Vua Cua began to increase its presence with a franchise model and gradually recovered. In May 2022, when the company recovered sales at 70% compared to before the epidemic, recognizing the efforts of Anh Thu’s team, Shark Lien decided to pour capital for the second time, right on the 6th anniversary of the establishment of Vua Cua.

Also in May 2022, Vua Cua also signed a cooperation agreement with Uplyft Holdings, aiming to the US market with the plan to open a restaurant and put sauce products on sale at Vietnamese markets, on an online platform like Amazon.

Only 4 months later, Vua Cua continued to receive investment from Beacon Fund – a foreign investment fund. Anh Thu said the cooperation not only helps to timely replenish capital after the pandemic, but also serves as a stepping stone for Vua Cua to move closer to its ambition of nationwide expansion in 2022 – 2023, and at the same time continue to Vietnamese-branded program to compete with international cuisine.

The opportunity continued to Anh Thu in February this year, when she and Shark Lien had a meeting with Tillman Schulz – an investor in Die Hohle der Lowen (Lion’s Cave), a German show with a format similar to Shark Tank. He is the third generation of MDS Group, operating 19 subsidiaries, which include food production, import and distribution.

“The Vua Cua hopes that after this meeting, within the next 1 year, Vua Cua products can be placed on one third of Shark Tillman Schulz’s 25,000 German supermarkets. Tillman gives me the belief that what Vua Cua has been trying to pursue for the past 7 years, in order to affirm the brand that represents Vietnam’s delicious crab, is not wasted,” Anh Thu shared in a video posted on Shark Tank Vietnam fanpage.

CEO of Vua Cua Doan Thi Anh Thu and German investor Tillman Schulz. Photo: Facebook/Doan Thi Anh Thu.

However, the female CEO admitted that in order to develop a new distribution channel, especially abroad, Vua Cua needs to prepare carefully and provide more complete information for German investors.

According to the February 2023 F&B industry newsletter of the online information monitoring platform Reputa, the Vua Cua brand rose 4 places – 11.2 times higher than the previous month and ranked 8th in the ranking of F&B brands popular on social networks, surpassing two familiar names, Kichi Kichi and The Alley.

Source: Reputa.

In the top 10 popular F&B companies on social networks, Vua Cua Trading and Service Joint Stock Company also stands out when it rises to 11 places, 2.5 times higher than in December 2022 and ranked 7th, right behind the Trung Nguyen Group is in 6th place and “F&B giant” Golden Gate is in 5th place.

In the context of the world economic crisis and Vietnam is not outside the sphere of influence, Anh Thu assessed that the only difficulty of the current Vua Cua is how to strengthen his consistency with the set goals, not give up no matter how hard it is.

“The big dream of Vua Cua is to bring products to all Vietnamese people. Further, it is to bring delicious dishes representing Vietnam to the world, especially European countries”, Anh Thu expressed.

Source: CafeF

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