Venture capital is in overdrive, with new disruption strategies, models, and technologies sprouting out by the week. It can be difficult to keep pace with this blitzkrieg of innovation. Therefore, I was very lucky earlier this week to have attended 500 Startup’s Premoney Conference in San Francisco, where thought leaders shared their visions for venture capital’s future.
Below, I’m pictured with Binh Tran, the co-head of 500 Startup’s $10 million Vietnam fund. Binh’s fund aims to make 100-150 investments into Vietnam connected startups, with checks ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. Their portfolio companies not only receive financing, but also access to 500 Startup’s incredible network of 3,000 mentors worldwide. Some of their current investments include companies with Vietnamese or Vietnamese American founders. Examples include:
- Lightbox, a social photography app founded by Thai Tran and acquired by Facebook.
- Ipsy, the beauty startup cofounded by Michelle Phan that closed a $100 million Series B.
- DataRank, a social intelligence platform co-founded by Chuong Nguyen and acquired by Simply Measured.
They have also made investments in companies leveraging low-cost, high-tech talent in Vietnam:
- Elsa, a language pronunciation training app.
- Ticketbox, Vietnam’s leading event ticketing platform.
- Tappy, a hyperlocal social networking app acquired by Weebly.
Binh’s team believes that Vietnam harbors robust startup potential in its 40 million plus Internet users. That facet is also complemented by one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and rocketing consumer spending serving as strong tailwinds.
Expect an article packed with insights gleaned from 500 Startup’s Premoney conference next week. Stay tuned.
Binh Tran, Venture Partner at 500 Startups’ new Vietnam fund.