The 1,000 startups dotted across Vietnam have launched a blitzkrieg of innovation across the country.
Standing at the vanguard of this progression are the investment firms funding the bold endeavors. Below, we list eight investment funds presently active in the Vietnam startup scene. Each should be applauded for keen foresight and vision to be first movers.
Unitus Impact Fund
This $45 million fund is run by Unitus Impact, a venture capital firm with offices in Bangalore, Hanoi, Jakarta, and San Francisco. It invests in scalable businesses that improve the livelihoods of Asia’s working class. Notable portfolio companies include iCare Benefits, Jana Care, and Big Tree Farms. Shuyin Tang, one of the angels on our panel, serves as a principal for the fund.
Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA)
Founded by Dominic Scriven’s Dragon Capital and Vietnam tech giant FPT, VIISA is an open-ended fund that develops IT, mobile, internet, and finance startups. It was formed in response to the Science and Technology Ministry’s call for a Vietnam startup ecosystem. The fund aims to help Vietnam reach 5,000 tech startups by 2020, and transform it into a “Startup Nation” in the process.
FPT Ventures Vietnam Targeted Fund
In addition to its collaboration with Dragon Capital, FPT also launched an independent US$3 million fund for seed and series A investments in Vietnamese startups. Target companies have valuations below US$1 million and receive a minimum of US$50,000. Thats 60 potential seed stage startups a year.
500 Startups Vietnam Focused Fund
A subsidiary of the greater 500 Startups umbrella, this fund is headed by Binh Tran and Eddie Thai – both of whom sit on our angel panel. The duo are raising $10 million and aim to make 100-150 investments in Vietnam connected startups. Notable investments include Ipsy, Michelle Phan’s makeup disruptor, and Lightbox, the social photography app acquired by Facebook.
Launched by Malaysia-based 1337 Ventures, this fund recently handed out $25,000 to three Vietnamese startups. The program is part of a strategic partnership between co-working space Dreamplex and Mekon Business Initiative. Its accelerator runs twice a year, with the top three teams receiving $5,000, Amazon Web Service credits, and business support.
Ho Chi Minh City Startup and Innovation Fund
This $1.3 million fund was launched by the city of Saigon to develop its startup ecosystem. Its core focus is on IT, mobile, and agricultural innovators. The fund will prioritize capital to companies working in the city’s key industries. This is the city’s first startup investment fund.
Tekes Innovation Fund
A partnership between the Vietnam Technology Ministry and Finland-based Tekes, this fund looks for ventures in Finland, Vietnam, and other partners benefiting from the TPP and EU-Free Trade Agreement. It targets companies that address challenges in health and food safety, waste treatment, and education. Selected companies receive mentorship and support in product development.
Launched by Vietnam-based internet company NOVAON, this $5 million fund focuses on early-stage internet startups. Unlike other investment funds, NOVAON also plays the role of co-founder in its portfolio companies. In certain scenarios, the fund may offer to help rebuild products or combine compatible companies to generate even greater value.