Affirma Capital to invest $34m in Vietnam-based HR platform Sieu Viet

Singapore-headquartered emerging market private equity firm Affirma Capital, formerly known as Standard Chartered Private Equity, has agreed to invest $34 million in Vietnam-based online recruitment firm Transcendental Human Resources JSC, known locally as Sieu Viet.

The investment, subject to regulatory approval, will help Sieu Viet solidify its value proposition in its core segment and roll out value-added services across its platform, Affirma Capital said in a statement.

DealStreetAsia had earlier reported that Sieu Viet had acquired local HR website MyWork.com.vn, bringing its network to a total of four job portals.

The recruitment firm caters to both small and medium businesses as well as large corporates. Sieu Viet claims to have referred millions of job applicants to over 500,000 companies in Vietnam.

“We are witnessing the most exciting growth period in Vietnam with a 55-million strong workforce and an economy that is rapidly becoming increasingly productive and well-diversified,” said Thuy Dropsey, executive director at Affirma Capital.

“Additionally, the Vietnamese entrepreneurial spirit has fuelled the development of the private sector in terms of the number of established enterprises, which serves as a catalyst for the expanding local job market,” she added.

Sieu Viet falls under the ambit of Simple Tech Investment (STI Holdings), a Vietnam-based early-stage investor founded by Phan Minh Tam.

Tam started out with his digital media venture 24h in 2004 and has since built a group of over 20 companies in several Southeast Asia countries across media, technology, HR services, transport, consumer retail, real estate and education verticals.

Tam said STI will continue to support Sieu Viet by leveraging its own ecosystem.

Other portfolio companies under STI include advertising firm Ants, social commerce platform Ecomobi, proptech startup Rever and edtech startup Dream Viet Education, which have secured investments from venture capital funds.

Sieu Viet is Affirma Capital’s fifth investment in Vietnam since 2014. The investment firm is owned and operated by the former senior leadership of Standard Chartered Private Equity.

Before the management buyout of StanChart’s private equity arm in 2019, the Singapore-headquartered firm had invested in children’s lifestyle platform N Kid, restaurant chain operator Golden Gate, agrochemical distribution and food production company Loc Troi, and Online Mobile Services JSC, which operates e-wallet MoMo.

Affirma Capital currently manages over $3.5 billion in assets.

Prior to the Sieu Viet deal, other transactions in the recruitment space in Vietnam have included South Korean company SaraminHR’s investment in IT sector-focused startup TopDev, KK Fund’s funding in JobHop and Mynavi Corporation’s acquisition of ITViec.

In an earlier deal, Dream Viet Education sold majority ownership of two of its learning platforms, Kyna.vn and KynaBiz.vn, to HR service firm Navigos Group.

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.