A social action against counterfeit products in Vietnam

Overview

iCheck started in 2012 as a simple barcode scanner application called Viet Barcode. In 2015, the company rebranded into iCheck, expanding the app set of features and aiming to provide a solution to fight counterfeit products. Scanning the barcodes, users can access product information, origin and manufacturer information, user generated reviews, government health alerts to make sure they are purchasing genuine products.

When getting in contact with Fast Forward Advisors, iCheck had over 1 million users but no revenues and no strategy to monetize the traffic on the platform. Fast Forward Advisors helped iCheck to build clear value propositions for all stakeholders involved in the platform (users, sellers, manufacturers) and build an investment case for the series A fundraising. Shortly after completing the work, iCheck successfully raised a seven-digit investment from Queen Bee venture fund.

Project
Client: iCheck Corp
Sector: Consumer apps
Product: Social network
Web: www.icheck.vn 

Project summary

Service: Startup International Fundraising
Outcome: Raised Series A (undisclosed amount)

“ FFA provided us with the right toolkits and guidance to strengthen our business model, value proposition and enable us to close our fundraising round successfully“

Truong Nguyen| CEO | iCheck

PROBLEMS & CHALLENGES

The main problem of iCheck in 2016 was the Lack of a strong value proposition for users and other stakeholders in the platform. Million of users downloaded the app and scan products but the platform lacked of stickiness and a revenue model. Additionally, manufacturers and sellers were marginally involved in the platform, while representing a key element for its success as well as interesting channels for monetization.

ACTIONS & SOLUTIONS

  1.  Problem discovery: We started working with iCheck on identifying the problems faced by each stakeholder in the platform. Together with the team, we analyzed how deeply the company understood problems of consumers, manufacturers and sellers and worked on dedicated surveys and interviews to complete the picture
  2.  Value proposition & business model design: We supported the company in designing targeted solutions for each stakeholder, as well as the needed material to test the value propositions with a first set of consumers and B2B entities. For each solution, we designed a business model to be tested and implemented
  3. Investor readiness check-up: In order to prepare for the fundraising, we applied the FFA Investor Readiness methodology to identify all gaps to be solved by the company prior to contact potential investors. Some of the gaps were then closed by FFA with ad-hoc support (such as market research & opportunity quantification and competition analysis), while the remaining gaps have been closed by the iCheck team following FFA guidelines.

IMPACT & OUTCOME

  1.  New company roadmap: iCheck followed the plan developed by FFA, strengthening the value proposition for users with additional social features, better integrating sellers and manufacturers with ad-hoc services and implementing new monetization channels such as the e-commerce
  2.  7-figures Series A funding: iCheck raised a 7-figure series A round right after two months from the delivery of FFA support. The fundraising has been completed in September 2016 by Vietnam based Queen Bee venture fund.