DevReady PodcastBringing Start-ups, Food & Technology Together with The Dung An – Episode 92 – DevReady Podcast

In this episode of the DevReady Podcast, our hosts Andrew Romeo and Anthony Sapountzis chat with The Dung An, Co-CEO/CTO at adash, a platform that connects accomplished food creators with their right audience. Listen in as the three of them talk about the journey of creating the platform from ideation to delivery, the challenges faced along the way, and what it takes to make one’s mark in the world of start-ups.

An is originally from Vietnam and spent most of his working career in Singapore before moving to Australia. An started in banking with a complete focus on engineering and then worked on email anti-spamming systems in a renowned company before giving two years of his work life to Amazon Web Services. Having come from a family of entrepreneurs, it was no surprise that An decided to chase his dreams of founding a start-up. And that’s what he did. He networked with like-minded people through Antler. It was through Antler that he met his co-founders and was also able to raise some funds for the start-up that they founded called adash.

Even though An and his co-founders shared a passion for creator economy and food, they belonged to entirely different sectors. While An had a technical background, his co-founders were from the food industry. Luckily for them, those complementary skill sets were ideal for adash—a platform that allows content creators to save time and money. In fact, the reason behind what drove him to envision the start-up in the first place was the pain he saw his wife suffer. His wife is a YouTube creator, and in spite of having followers and support, there wasn’t a way in which her supporters could pay for her content. He wanted to make sure that the creators, not just his wife, were helped through his platform. 

Talking about the evolution of adash, An shares how it went from being a clickable prototype that he developed to gain traction to a functional SaaS platform with paying users. In the future he wants to incorporate the feedback from the users and move it to more verticals in addition to food. Talking about the unique features of the app, An shares the following:

  • Build in tools that allow creators to organize their content
  • Newsletter that creators can use to communicate with the users 
  • Revenue model based on subscription and not advertisements

Having started as the key technical person, An now works with a hybrid team that is located offshore in Vietnam. He credits connection, process and trust, as being the key requisites in being able to manage such a team. 

Topics Covered

  • Networking with like-minded people
  • Getting investment for the start-up
  • Helping content creators 
  • Evolution of adash
  • Importance of user feedback
  • Challenges faced

Key Quotes (Time Stamps)

  • “I’ve been looking out for opportunities to start up a business. And after two years at Amazon, I knew it was the right time for me to try out new things. So, I resigned and joined a community called Antler. So, they are an early-stage VC, and they are also helping you to meet with other like-minded entrepreneurs.” (2:18 – 2:45)
  • “We came from different backgrounds though. I came in with a technical background whereas my co-founder came in having expertise and network in the food space and restaurant industry as well. That’s how we came together” (3:09 – 3:27)
  • “I feel like I can make a lot more impact with doing a start-up.” (8:46 – 8:52)
  • “I came from the angle of the creator economy space. So, basically trying to support the content creators. So, content creators plus the food is adash.” (12:41 – 12:53)
  • “It evolved to an app. We put it on the app store with a good number of positive ratings and quite a number of active paying users as well to now a SaaS platform as a web app where the food content creators, especially, can join us and start to publish their recipes, their videos, their learnings and everything that they can think of and produce. They can also send out newsletters on the platform. So, that’s how they engage with the users.” (14:44 – 15:19) 
  • “Our vision is to help as many food content creators as possible. But we also have a bigger vision as well—to expand it to other verticals, not just food.” (28:35 – 28:47) 
  • “The fundamentals of how we work together is probably based on trust and understanding and respect.” (35:53 – 36:00)

Social Media Clips (Time Stamps)

  • How the co-founders at adash came together (1:55 – 3:27)
  • Experience with Antler (3:44 – 5:09)
  • What drew An to Start-ups? (8:15 – 10:15) 
  • Content creators + food = adash (11:57 – 12:53) 
  • Evolution of adash (14:33 – 16:02) 
  • Keeping users in the feedback loop (17:51 – 19:11) 
  • Bigger goal with adash (28:33 – 29:26)

Useful Links

Connect with Andrew Romeo

Connect with Anthony Sapountzis

Connect with The Dung An

Adash | Website
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