Leading startup accelerator and incubator 500 Startups has launched a US$10 million micro-fund for Vietnam simply called – 500 Startups Vietnam.
The fund aims to make investments in about 100 to 150 startups in Vietnam-connected startups –be it Vietnamese entrepreneurs launching their enterprise overseas or teams aiming to expand into Vietnam.
500 Startups Vietnam will issue checks ranging from US$100,000 to US$250,000 and will be led by Venture Partners Binh Tran and Eddie Thai, who joined 500 Startups last year, with the goal of ramping up its investment activity in the country.
According to a post by Eddie Thal, Vietnam’s tech space shows promising potential in the areas of B2B, Enterprise SaaS and e-commerce, although its goal is to be “vertical agnostic, returns religious”.
500 Startups has already been investing into several Vietnam-connected startups including beauty startup Ipsy; social photography app Lightbox; social intelligence platform DataRank; hyperlocal social networking app Tappy; event ticketing platform Ticketbox; and language pronunciation training mobile app ELSA.
While Vietnam currently has over 1,300 startups, it is still perceived as fairly nascent compared to other regional markets. In recent years, it actually has been experiencing a hive of activity. Grab and Uber entered the market; Vietnam Silicon Valley launched its accelerator programme; Vietnam-based startups such as Appota have expanded overseas.
Just yesterday, Vietnamese co-working space raised an undisclosed six figure sum, with plans to launch a third branch by this year; Edtech giant Topica acquired Hanoi co-working space Hub.IT at the beginning of this year.
Let’s not forget that the country also has a unicorn – digital media, e-commerce and gaming platform VNG Corporation.
500 Startups Vietnam will be 500 Startups’s second micro-fund in the region following 500 Startup TukTuks which is focussed on Thailand.