Waves, an audio and podcast startup based in Ho Chi Minh City, has stopped operations and returned money to investors, confirmed co-founder Kevin Gao in an email to Tech in Asia. The startup announced in February that it had raised USD 1.2 million in a seed funding round led by Singapore’s Insignia Ventures Partners, along with Hustle Fund and Skystar Capital.
Gao cited “personal reasons” for the move and declined to elaborate on Waves’ pivot plan or its traction before closure. “We were growing at a healthy pace before deciding to shut down. COVID-19 had no significant impact on our business aside from the daily operational issues regarding quarantine and employee safety,” he explained.
Shiyan Koh, general partner of Hustle Fund, said: “We have loved working with Kevin and the team, and appreciate how he’s handled his stepping away from the business to deal with his personal situation. We would be happy to back Kevin in his next venture.”
Founded in 2019 by Gao and Ben Minh Le, Wave aimed to become a leading platform in Southeast Asia for podcast and audio content creators who want to do original programs. At the time of its fundraising announcement, Waves said it had over 30 original programs and 50 programs created with partners on the platform. It also runs FanFam, a technology platform designed to connect idols and fans.
One of Waves’ competitors in Vietnam is Voiz FM, an audiobook and podcast platform that raised seed funding from 500 Startups Vietnam in May.
This article was originally published by Tech in Asia.