Waves, a new audio and podcast startup based in Ho Chi Minh City, that had raised $1.2 million USD in seed funding in February of this year has announced that it has stopped operations and returned the seed investment back to its investors.
The company was founded in 2019 by Kevin Gao and Ben Minh Le with a goal to become a leading platform for podcast and audio content. At the time it received funding, Waves said that it had 30+ original programs and 50+ programs created with partners. The company said that it also hosted 500,000 other podcasts that users could listen to for free
With its February funding, the company had planned to work with Vietnamese creators to produce other types of programming, while also launching mobile apps on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
In an email to “Tech in Asia”, a regional technology website, Gao, said the company had creased operations and returned money to its investors because of “personal reasons”
Gao did not go deeper into the “personal reasons” that are causing the company’s shutdown or provide other information, except to say in his email that, “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.”
Shiyan Koh, general partner of Hustle Fund, one of the companies that had invested in Wave 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.”