Photo: Duc Anh
International Training and Education Development JSC claims $90,000 owed by KAfe, after Gia Tuong went public recently over allegedly unpaid $180,000.
Another company has accused Vietnamese F&B startup the KAfe Group of delaying debt repayments, shortly after a similar accusation from the Gia Tuong Company a few days ago.
According to the International Training and Education Development JSC (ITED), KAfe owes it more than VND2 billion ($89,680). “ITED sent documents on April 14 and May 23 requesting the KAfe Group make specific plans to repay these debts,” ITED told local media. “An inadequate response was received from staff at KAfe who lack the capacity to resolve the problem.”
A representative from KAfe told VET that it is being attacked by one individual who is working on behalf of Gia Tuong and ITED. At the end of June the KAfe Group was accused by the Gia Tuong of delaying debt repayments of more than VND4 billion ($179,000), claiming that “the CEO of Kafe Group, Ms. Dao Chi Anh, has neglected these debts.”
“KAfe is working with local authorities to legally resolve the issue as soon as possible,” the representative said but refused to reveal any further details about the case.
The trouble besetting KAfe provides a bitter lesson for startups in managing cash flows, human resources, and business activities after securing venture capital, according to insiders. Financial problems can cause significant losses for startups in terms of branding, pushing them along a more challenging route in attracting venture capital in the future.
KAfe has been regarded as a star in the Vietnamese startup community, establishing the first urban fusion cafe chain in Vietnam offering fresh, affordable, and quality international casual dining for affluent consumers. It also secured a $5.5 million Cassia Investments-led Series A funding arrangement in October last year.
The company currently operates 19 outlets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City under four brands - The KAfe, KAfe Village, KAfe Box, and The Burger Box, as well as its beverage merchandise The KAfe Cup and The KAfe Pressed, together with Mint Cupcakes Creations (MCC) - a local cupcake chain acquired by the Group early this year.