Early-stage VC Antler announces Vietnam foray led by ex-Zalora country head Jonsson

Landmark 81, Vinhomes Tan Cang, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam/Photo: CreateTravel.tv on Unsplash

Global early-stage venture capital firm Antler on Tuesday announced plans to launch in Vietnam.

Antler, which plans to start operations in Ho Chi Minh City, will be led by Erik Jonsson, a serial entrepreneur, and the former co-founder and managing director of Zalora Vietnam. Jonsson will be joining as a partner.

Antler plans to kick off the Vietnam programme later this year and invest in companies through its Southeast Asia fund.

The investment firm said that it will enable entrepreneurs to form teams and build a company from scratch as opposed to investing in existing companies. The model complements the existing VC ecosystem in Vietnam and regionally, by creating a deal flow that is currently scarce.

The Singapore-based firm, founded in 2017, has a presence in 14 global locations and has invested in over 300 technology companies, making it one of the world’s largest early-stage investment platforms.

“There is incredible talent in Vietnam with huge aspirations to create their own companies. There are also several venture capital funds active in Vietnam, and even private equity funds that are looking at venture investing. However, the deal flow is not yet matching the availability of capital so finding the pre-idea entrepreneurial talent, providing them the right platform, idea validation, even co-founder matching to create new exciting ventures will be incredibly important for the Vietnamese startup ecosystem,” said Jussi Salovaara, co-founder and managing partner-Asia of Antler.

“The key ingredients are attractive demographics, rising economic affluence, and a technically apt workforce. In addition, there is a large user base and resolute actions by the Vietnamese government to make Vietnam an attractive destination to both set up tech businesses as well as invest in them,” said Erik Jonsson.

He also said that he is bullish on seeing companies that innovate traditional Vietnamese industries and use the amazing resources the country has to offer through the Antler platform.

Erik has been in Vietnam since 2008. He spent his first year in Vietnam with Vietnam Investments Group in the private equity space and subsequently ventured down the entrepreneurial path as Founder/Co-founder/CEO with five different ventures.

Recently, Antler has also announced its plans to invest over $100 million across Indian technology startups in the next four years. Recently, Vietnam’s VC space has welcomed a new VC firm Ascend Vietnam Ventures.

DealStreetAsia had first reported that Eddie Thai and Binh Tran, general partners at early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator 500 Startups Vietnam, are launching their own VC firm to invest in the country’s startup ecosystem.

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.