Tech in Asia
In 2019, Hoang Van Dung lost his right hand after a work-related explosion. Today, the 29-year-old is a TikToker with over 261,000 followers, producing mostly humorous short-form videos that showcase his ability to navigate life with just one hand.
His recovery journey has been strongly tied to Vulcan Augmetics, the Vietnamese startup that built his prosthetic arm.
As one of its earliest users, Hoang has become the marketing face of the company. In one video, he shows off his push-up skills using the prosthetic arm, and in another, he does arm wrestling, though only for fun.
“We do deeptech, the hardware and software, and we’re doing it right here in Vietnam,” Rafael Masters, CEO and co-founder of Vulcan Augmetics, tells Tech in Asia in an interview. “It’s very difficult to get local VC firms to take a look.”
In October, Vulcan raised a seed round from Quest Ventures. The five-year-old startup has ambitions to expand overseas, targeting markets like India and the Middle East. It also aims to go beyond prosthetics and develop wearable technologies.
“Our goal is to be the global leader in body-mounted sensor and control systems, applicable to any wearable device,” he says. “This includes industrial uses like factory exo-suits, medical uses such as remote care, and commercial use cases such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).”