EXCLUSIVE: VN’s freelance support startup vLance plans SEA expansion

Visual from company homepage

Freelance service platform vLance.vn, which won the $10,000 at the Startup Weekend Hanoi 2014, securing a $20,000 angel investment deal in the process, says it hopes to become Vietnam’s largest freelancer-supporting portal.

“Our angel investor is an Vietnamese American,” said Trinh Mai Hanh, the company’s communications manager. She also revealed that vLance.vn was seeking more funding for future development plans. “Specifically, we will expand the model to several markets in the Southeast Asia region,” she revealed

Launched in December 2013, vLance.vn currently attracts nearly 34,000 freelancers and posts over 1,900 jobs, which have mounted to a value of VND8.37 billion ($393,000).

According to a report by the Staffing Industry Association, the Vietnamese outsourcing market is valued at $0.9 billion with an annual growth of 26 per cent.

Outsourcing is becoming more popular among the entrepreneur and freelancer community due to its benefits of reducing costs and task fulfillment quality. The demand is huge, especially in the 400,000 small- and medium-sized enterprise market.

Meanwhile, freelancers are flexible about time, place and work effectively.

However, there are several challenges. “The first and foremost difficulty of the market is that the outsourcing culture of Vietnamese small- and medium-size firms is behind other countries by about 10 years,” Hanh said.

According to her, Vietnamese companies and freelancers get used to searching for each other through intimate relationships to gain trust. “However, the drawback of this method is the limitation of choices,” she added.

Although vLance.vn is not the first freelance service to tap the Vietnam market, it is the first to guarantee payment transactions and support the freelancers in building their profiles to address this gap in the market, Hanh stated.

Another strength of vLance.vn is the domestic market-focus strategy and Vietnamese language display, making it outstanding compared to existing competition like –  freelancer.com and elance.com.

Among the job categories, IT and programming accounts for the biggest percentage of vLance.vn’s portfolio (around 52 per cent), followed by graphic design (around 28 per cent).

Related story: ‘Second-wave startups can expand beyond VN’

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.