AI camera startups in Vietnam are preparing for a soaring interest in video surveillance equipment. Electronics manufacturer Hanet, which was founded in 2005 and produces devices such as home karaoke systems, is targeting the market with an undisclosed amount of new Series A funding from G-Group, the firm behind social media network Gapo, lending platform Tima, and payment startup GPay.
Hanet’s AI chip-backed cameras are able to recognize and detect faces as well as people’s age and gender, even if they wear a face mask or sunglasses, the company claims. The firm offers private home safety cameras, as well as devices for attendance or visitor management in offices or shops. With an internal memory of 8 gigabytes, the cameras can identify and store up to 50,000 faces and sell for VND 3,900,000 (USD 168). The new investment values the startup at USD 5 million.
Local competitor Bkav is known for its security software. Last June, the firm partnered with chip manufacturer Qualcomm and, shortly after, exported its first batch of security cameras to be installed at the headquarters of the US tech giant. Bkav claims that its cameras are 20% cheaper than those of its counterparts from Europe and can process faces in real-time, with a detection speed of six to seven frames per second.
“Expanding infrastructural projects, upcoming hotel and shopping mall projects, rising awareness among consumers coupled with the increasing inflow of foreign direct investment in the construction sector, are all key factors that are expected to accelerate the video surveillance market in Vietnam in the coming years,” said 6Wresearch in a recent report that expects the sector to grow 8.6% year-on-year between 2020 and 2026. Eshita Goel, a research associate with the firm, specifically pointed to the Vietnamese government and the country’s transportation sector as the largest adopters of surveillance equipment in 2019.
In February, the government approved a proposal to install traffic surveillance cameras across its 130 national highways and 60 expressways. The USD 93 million project is set to complete by 2025, according to local media reports. Cameras will also be installed across the country’s two biggest cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and in other localities, while new data centers will manage the information. Notable foreign players have rushed in to meet the demand, including Hikvision, Axis Communications, Hanwha Techwin, and Bosch. The exact number of new cameras that will be installed across the country has not been reported, but Vietnamese authorities had at least 2.6 million surveillance cameras in operation as of December 2019.
Tax incentives are providing a boost as well. Eligible businesses in high tech industries can enjoy four years of corporate income tax exemption, and a 50% reduction in the subsequent nine years, while state funding via loans is also available, according to findings from law firm Dezan Shira & Associates.