Exclusive: Australia’s Artesian Venture Partners eyes early-stage startups in Vietnam

Australian alternative investment manager Artesian Venture Partners is keenly watching the Vietnamese startup ecosystem and plans to invest in the country’s early-stage startups, a top executive said.

Vicky Lay, one of the firm’s Managing Directors, said the firm expects to complete its first deal in Vietnam in the near future.

“We have long been following the development of Vietnam’s growing startup ecosystem and are impressed by the quality of technical talent in the country,” Lay told DEALSTREETASIA during a recent meeting.

Regarding sectors that Artesian will focus on in Vietnam’s startup ecosystem, Lay stressed that Artesian is sector agnostic and instead, focuses on providing institutional, corporate and high net-worth investors with a de-risked pipeline of pre-seed, seed and angel investment opportunities.

Lay, who participated in the Demo Day 2018 event hosted by Lotte Accelerator and Vietnam Silicon Valley Accelerator last week, said she was impressed by the broad range of business models and technology applications showcased during the event. The 10 participating startups were chosen from over 100 applicants and had completed a four-month boot camp to validate their business model. The startups included Winme, a B2C e-commerce solution using lottery and smart advertising; 689Cloud, a cloud storage platform for businesses looking to optimize information confidentially; and Roborzoid, a platform that implements voice recognition technology with impressive accuracy.

In comparison to other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam has a larger number of VC investors for a startup ecosystem that is still very much in its early stages. There is no shortage of seed and early-stage investments in the startup pipeline.

However, the number of startups successful in raising early-stage capital is still limited. “Focus on developing a validated solution to a real customer problem that can be scaled to capture a unique market opportunity,” Lay advised.

Artesian is a leading global alternative investment management firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Shanghai, New York and London. It was spun out of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in 2004 and is focused on fixed income and venture capital funds.

It is also Australia’s largest seed-stage VC fund with over $250 million in assets under management, partnering with accelerators, angel groups and university programmes.

Artesian has launched a Southeast Asian diversified fund, targeting 300+ investments across Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and the Greater Mekong region.

“Our investment approach naturally builds the startup ecosystem from the ground up. We have proven our thesis and refined our model in Australia and China, having already invested in over 150 companies to date, and are now turning our attention to Southeast Asia,” Lay said.

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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.