500 Startups rolls out $10m regional micro-fund for Vietnam

It’s now official. 500 Startups has announced the setting up of its latest regional micro fund, 500 Startups Vietnam, with a corpus of $10 million, and is targeting investments across across 100-150 Vietnam-connected startups.

500 Startups’ dedicated $10-million Vietnam fund development was exclusively reported by DEALSTREETASIA in November last year.

The Vietnam fund is the latest addition from 500 Startups’ stables which recently launched a $25-million ‘Kulfi fund’ to invest in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The US accelerator and investment fund already has 500 Durians for Southeast Asia and 500 TukTuks for Thailand.

500 Startups Vietnam will sign cheques from $100,000 to as high as $250,000 from the new fund. Eddie Thai and Binh Tran, who joined the VC last year as investment partners, will lead the $10 million vehicle.

Apart from funding, portfolio companies will have access to 500 Startups’ international network of 3,000 mentors and founders, $1.5 million of credits with partners like Amazon and Facebook, and other support to help them scale their business, it said, in a statement.

Vietnam-connected companies, who are already part of its portfolio, include Ipsy (the beauty startup co-founded by Michelle Phan that closed a $100 million Series B last year), Lightbox (social photography app acquired by Facebook) and DataRank (social intelligence platform acquired by Simply Measured).

There are also startups that leverage low-cost, high-tech talent in Vietnam: ELSA (language pronunciation training mobile app), Ticketbox (leading event ticketing platform in Vietnam) and Tappy (hyperlocal social networking app, acquired by Weeby.co).

Also read: 500 Startups strengthens South East Asia team with two new partners in Vietnam

“We believe there are many interesting near-term investment opportunities in B-to-B and enterprise SaaS, fintech, and e-commerce, but ultimately we are “vertical agnostic, returns religious,” 500 Startups said in its announcement.

Why Vietnam?

“Vietnam is a vibrant and growing country, with many talented entrepreneurs and engineers. 500 Startups plans to work together with Vietnamese investors and the local tech community to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. Eddie and Binh are experienced operators who combine Silicon Valley know-how with Vietnamese hustle, and they are going to invest aggressively in the best and brightest founders all over the country,” commented the fund’s founding partner Dave McClure.

However, the country is under-served by seed stage venture capital firms, 500 Startups stated, even as US News has recently granted it the third spot in “Best Countries to Invest In” list.

Also read:

Has Vietnam’s e-commerce marketing platform Beeketing raised seed round from 500 Startups?

Exclusive: 500 Startups looking to make 17 new investments in Vietnam

FPT Corp, 500 Startups to set up incubator for startups in Vietnam

Thai tech recruitment platform GetLinks gets $500K from CyberAgent, 500 Startups

Vietnamese startups can adopt Valley model of ‘build fast, pivot fast & market fast’: Beeketing founder

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.