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500 Startups Vietnam raises $14mn for investment

Released at: 11:12, 21/11/2018

500 Startups Vietnam raises $14mn for investment

Photo: 500 Startups

500 Startups announces funding for local startup support.

by Minh Do

500 Startups, an early-stage venture capital investor, exceeded the target for its Vietnam fund in raising $14 million to back startups in the country.

“That’s 40 per cent over the $10 million target,” 500 Startups partner Mr. Eddie Thai said.

The fund was launched in March 2016 with a $10 million target to capitalize on a new cohort of internet-era startups. 500 Startups partners Mr. Thai and Mr. Binh Tran manage the fund. Mr. Thai is the former director of CJ CGV Vietnam, a cinema and film distribution company, while Mr. Tran is the co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of the social influence tool Klout, which was sold to Lithium Technologies for $200 million in 2014.

500 Startups Vietnam has funneled a total of $3 million into 36 companies to date across industries including e-commerce, ed-tech, and blockchain. The partners plan to back up to 64 more, writing checks of between $100,000 and $250,000.

Investment in Southeast Asia has picked up significantly in 2018. According to PitchBook, companies based in the region have raked in more than four times more capital this year than last. Vietnam, in particular, has become a vibrant destination for venture capital investors. In addition to 500 Startups, several other funds have cropped up in the country, like ESP Capital, VinaCapital Ventures, Startup Viet Partners, and Zone Startups Vietnam, helping to accelerate investment.

Growth in Vietnam is showing no signs of slowing. Its digital economy is expected to triple in size to some $33 billion by 2025, according to Google’s third Southeast Asia report. Its e-commerce market has doubled year-on-year and digital advertising, gaming, online media, and online travel have seen tremendous development. The internet economy in Vietnam, according to the report, is akin to a dragon being unleashed.

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