Top 12 Vietnamese startups to share US$360,000 investment package

The Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA) has selected 12 outstanding startup projects from 160 local candidates for a combined investment of $360,000.   The chosen startups cover a wide range of fields, including artificial intelligence, hightech agriculture, communications and education, and will be given exclusive training by VIISA. VIISA is an open ended fund working in partnership with major corporations BIDV, Dragon Capital, FPT and Hanwha Investment. 12 startups will be given exclusive training by VIISA. Following their training, each startup will receive $15,000 in cash and $15,000 worth of training courses, technical resources and office fees, as well as access to more than 100 investors all over the world to pursue their dreams. The most promising startup will also receive an additional $200,000 investment, according to VIISA. “Vietnam is such a rapidly emerging country. Startups here have great opportunity to innovate their products and services,” said Sangyeop Kang, investment manager at Hanwha Investment Group. "I look forward to boosting the startup climate in Vietnam." Tran Huu Duc, general director of VIISA and director of FPT Ventures Fund said: "We want to help the startup community to get access to local and foreign investors and advisors and look forward to upgrading the startup ecosystem in Vietnam by creating big global companies."  12 startups to receive the investment: 1. Saigoneer 2. Cricket One 3. MarketOi 4. Cyfeer 5. Dental Tap  6. Authentic Guards  7. Mojitok 8. Ella Study 9. CID Auto 10. 11. WeSport 12. [read more]

As technology is becoming an integral part of life, financial technology (fintech) is becoming ever more enticing to foreign investment in Vietnamese startups. RELATED CONTENTS: Foreign capital eyeing Vietnamese fintech Mekong Capital invests in F88 Hong Kong fintech group acquires local tech company Fintech: the new source of M&A KPMG’s quarterly report showed that in the first quarter of 2017, total global investment in fintech was $3.2 billion, with 260 deals. The Asia-Pacific alone saw 33 deals with the total value of $492 million. Vietnam is not an exception to this trend. According to the estimations of Topica Founder Institute, in 2016, total investment in Vietnamese fintech startups was $129 million, accounting for 63 per cent of all startup contract value. New companies such as Payoo, VNPT E-pay, M_Service (Momo), and F88 are leading in terms of deal value. This wave of fintech startup investment could be the new source of impressive M&A activities in the future. According to Christian Konig, fintech expert and founder of Fintech Meetup Vietnam and, the Vietnamese fintech market has a very positive outlook. He predicted that big investors, such as Alipay, Apple pay or Samsung pay, will join the market through multiple channels. There will be a variety of products, such as insurtech for insurance and wealthtech for investment consultation, among others. Startups in this field…... [read more]

The Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, known as VietCham Singapore (, was established in 2013 to support Vietnamese businesses with their regional and global expansion. VietCham drives bilateral and multi-lateral trade and investments in five countries On August 19, VietCham Singapore will host a workshop entitled “Singapore as a launch-pad for Vietnamese businesses” in Ho Chi Minh City, aiming to help local firms expand their horizon and move beyond boundaries ( The workshop will focus on establishing and operating company in Singapore, taxation, multilateral trade, banking facilities, capital mobilisation, initial public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions in both Singapore and Vietnam. Over the years, VietCham Singapore has been supporting various Vietnamese firms to reach out to regional and global market through Singapore gateway. According to Dr. David Nguyen Quang Vu - VietCham Singapore’s president, his organisation’s goal is to enable Vietnamese businesses with setting up and maintaining companies in Singapore, obtaining all necessary licences and certificates, product distribution and marketing, exhibition, tradeshow and roadshow, business matching, market research and business intelligence, trademarks and   intellectual property protection, wealth and asset management, deal-making, M&A and corporate advisory. “In Singapore, most procedures and applications can be processed online, helping to save time and travel. Businesses may acquire Singapore business licences within 24 hours,” Vu said at a recent workshop on export promotion via Singapore in the Mekong Delta region this April. VietCham Singapore…... [read more]

Its founder believes that foreign ride-hailing services help many locals, but also threaten so many others. A new startup project is taking shape in Ho Chi Minh City promising to provide support to Vietnamese xe om motorbike taxi drivers who feel excluded or threatened by the rise of services such as Grab and Uber. Vu Tuan Anh, who leads the yet-to-be named project, told the Saigon Times that the arrival of Grab and Uver has been generally welcomed by passengers and has created jobs for many people, particularly students and part-time workers. But many xe om drivers, he said, have had their livelihoods threatened by these modern platforms. “I started to wonder why IT engineers in Vietnam didn’t create something similar to help 'traditional' xe om drivers,” Anh said, adding that many drivers could not meet technical requirements to join Grab or Uber networks. “These drivers are vulnerable members in our society,” he was quoted as saying. “They are even more vulnerable now due to Uber Bike and Grab Bike.” Anh said his non-profit platform will function similarly to that of Grab and Uber but drivers will only be asked to pay a fixed monthly fee of between VND30,000-60,000, instead of 20-30 percent of their income. It remains unclear if drivers joining his network will be given phones with internet access. The project, still in the fund-raising phase, will be launched first in District 1 before expanding to other parts of the city. Anh said he will also add delivery…... [read more]

“The process was very complex because opening a business requires a lot of knowledge,” he told VET. “But I was fortunate to have mentors at that time who helped me overcome the obstacles.” Rarely were Vietnamese startups fortunate enough to have mentors. “I realized that other Vietnamese startups are lacking an environment to share information and ideas to identify solutions, so I began thinking about DreamPlex,” he said. About three years ago a number of co-working spaces opened but must most seemed to close quite quickly. “What a stupid idea - nobody wants to pay a membership fee for a co-working space. Freelancers and startups want to work at home or at a café.” Mr. Jason Martin Lusk, Founder of ClickSpace in Hanoi, heard many such sentiments a few years ago. “Now, no one says it is a stupid idea, because everyone wants to open a co-working space,” he said. Getting ready Co-working spaces have become a major trend overseas, Mr. Tin said. “Young people especially like it, because you can do what you want without having to worry about what’s happening outside.” The spirit of entrepreneurship motivates many people to try a startup. “Demand for co-working space will become higher,” he said, with more people realizing its value. “We are here for our passion and we are here to pursue something greater.” In Vietnam, local people come together with foreigners in co-working spaces. Mr. Lusk noticed that, in Bangkok and Bali, for example, co-working spaces are either for local…... [read more]

In a statement on its website on August 17, the 2010-founded fund, which is better known for its Silicon Valley accelerator program, announced its venture partners in Vietnam. Binh Tran, a technologist with more than 20 years of experience and who had founded several startups, and Eddie Thai, a Harvard and Yale graduate and who was recently named in the Forbes Vietnam's list of 30 future leaders, will act as its advisors. 500 Startups has more than 1,000 companies around the world in its portfolio. The company has invested in three Vietnamese startups since last year. It plans to make investment in 20 more companies in the next 12 months in the country, which it deems as "big, fast-growing, and underserved by seed stage venture capital firms." Vietnam's population exceeds the combined number of California, New York and Florida, and more than 40 million of them use the Internet, it said. Moreover, the country is also one of the world's fastest growing economies since 1990 and has been Apple's fastest growing market, it added. "For us, it was never a question of 'is Vietnam ready as a market?', but rather 'are we ready for Vietnam as a market?', and today, we’re making our first of many moves to be ready,” Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500. Startups, was quoted as saying in the statement. In May, local IT giant FPT launched a venture fund, planning to invest around US$3 million into local technology startups every year. FPT estimated that around…... [read more]

Mimosatek won the “Startup Fund” category, whereas Hoayeuthuong claimed the top prize for the “Growth Fund,” both of which came with a US$15,000 grant, after the final competition round in Ho Chi Minh City on December 22. As they are named, the “Startup Fund” was meant to support newly-founded startups, and the “Growth Fund” was for established firms with remarkable growth. The Go Live! Vietnam Venture Cup was also sponsored by venture capital firm IDG Ventures Vietnam, online education provider Topica Edtech Group, and startup community Launch. Mimosatek was founded in November 2014 with only two members, but has since expanded its staff to 12, according to the company’s website. The firm aims to apply the “Internet of Things” trend to agriculture, by developing apps and hardware products that help farmers maximize productivity at minimal cost and crop risks. In the meantime, Hoayeuthuong was set up by tech engineer Pham Hoang Thai Duong in October 2010, with an objective of becoming a flower delivery expert. The Ho Chi Minh City-based startup allows orders online and now has shops in Hanoi, Danang and a dozen other provinces across the country. From the initial investment of US$700, the company is seeking finances to expand production and build an ecosystem for Vietnam’s flower sector, which Duong said could be worth US$1 billion in the near future. “We expect that Vietnam will be one of the five countries with the most developed flower sector in the next five years,” he told newswireVnExpress in a…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - For foreign investors, most Vietnamese startups copy foreign ideas and develop ideas locally. However, many Vietnamese startups are creative and have brought big money to their owners. According to Tech in Asia, there are about 1,500 operational startups in Vietnam. The figure, if compared with the population, is higher than Indonesia with 2,100 startups, China with 2,300 and India with 7,500. Reuters in April 2016 published an article commenting that most Vietnamese startups are in e-commerce and related fields. The e-commerce grew by 35 percent in 2015 to $4 billion which brought many opportunities. On Deal Street Asia, Jamie Camidge, a startup expert from Muru-D Center, commented that many Vietnamese startups simply copy successful business models in the world and develop models in Vietnam. The comments show foreigners’ outlook about the Vietnamese startup community: while the quantity is high, the quality isn’t. Vu Tuan Anh from Hoa Sen Group also commented that starting business from e-commerce is a ‘low-tech startup’. Tech in Asia said that there are very few startups in Asia which become public companies. In Vietnam, the number of companies which call for series B capital like MoMo or Tiki is so modest that it ‘can be counted with one’s fingers’. Jamie Camidge said that for the majority of businesses, calling for capital is a must. However, startups pay too much attention to calling for capital, while they should focus on developing products. In fact, many startups don’t have to call for capital because they…... [read more]

According to Deal Street Asia, there were more than 30 merger & acquisition (M&A) successful deals in 2016, more than the 22 deals in 2015. A series of projects won high prizes at domestic and international competitions. DesignBold is a tool described as ‘Photoshop’ for amateur designers. Launched on the market in October 2016, the startup caught the attention of many people, similar to the success of Nguyen Ha Dong’s Flappy Bird game in 2014. Targeting the global market, DesignBold had profit of $130,000 in the first two weeks after it was marketed. About 40,000 customers were reported using the tool while 52 percent of customers return. The founder of the project is Dinh Viet Hung, well known as the founder of Joomlart and the angel investor for some startups in Vietnam. DesignBold won the startup prize of the year at the Startup Festival 2016. GotIt is an education startup established in the US which successfully called for $9 million worth of capital in series A in April 2016. However, the founder and the developers are all in Vietnam. According to Deal Street Asia, there were more than 30 merger & acquisition (M&A) successful deals in 2016, more than the 22 deals in 2015. A series of projects won high prizes at domestic and international competitions. Though GotIt does not operate in Vietnam, Deal Street Asia said the founder of GotIt has carried out activities to support other Vietnamese startups.Operating similarly to Classpass or Kfit, which connects fitness centers and…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese startups became better known worldwide in 2016 and are expected to shine even more brightly in 2017. Startup community in tumult because of Criminal Code One of the most controversial issues among technology startups in 2016 was Article 292 of the 2015 Criminal Code on illegal provision of services on computer and telecommunication networks. The article said individuals and institutions providing services without licenses will be fined up to hundreds of millions of dong or sentenced to non-custodial reform for two years. This raised concern among startups because most technology startups deploy their business, provide services and collect money via computer and telecommunication networks. PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the August regular meeting proposed to remove the Article 292. Startups receive huge foreign investment As Vietnamese startups have become better known, they can catch the eyes of foreign investors. The deal in which Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) and Golman Sachs poured $28 million into MoMo e-wallet was considered the most successful capital call so far. Other startups also received huge investment capital in 2016, including GotIt ($9 million), ($3 million) and Toong ($1 million). Silicon’s 500 Startups arrive In early 2016, 500 Startups, a large US-based venture fund, announced it would set up a small fund with $10 million to pour capital into 100-150 Vietnamese startup projects The fund in Vietnam will be managed by Binh Tran, the co-founder of Klout, and Eddie Thai. Both of them were born in Vietnam but have been…... [read more]

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