Ho Chi Minh City mulls $45m startup fund, reiterates stock exchange plan

Ho Chi Minh City, the southern metropolis of Vietnam, will launch a VND1 trillion ($45 million) support package for young businesses, including tech startups, the city’s department of science and technology departemnt reportedly announced at a recent meeting.

The fund is expected to be launched next month.

Eligible projects – preferably from the sectors of mechanics, electronics, chemicals, food production, finance, banking, insurance, commerce, transport, tourism, logistics, post and communication, real estate, healthcare, education and technology – will be granted VND2 billion ($90,000) each to run a prototype, according to newswire VnExpress.

The city will also kick off a programme to connect startup companies with investment funds, said the news site, adding that more than 20 foreign venture capital firms have expanded to Vietnam – where 1,800 startups are in operation, without citing any sources for the data.

There is a modest number of foreign funds that have offices or local heads in Vietnam, including Cyberagent Ventures and 500 Startups.

Funding into Vietnamese startups have also come from a spate of other regional VCs, like Golden Gate Ventures, Gobi Partners and Expara Ventureswhile IDG Ventures and VinaCapital DFJ are seeking exits for their portfolios. VinaCapital DFJ is also mulling a second fund next year.

Ho Chi Minh City, which already has a VND30 billion startup investment fund called HSIF, aims to support as many as 2,000 startup companies by 2020, which is part of the country’s grand plan to have a million businesses by the same time.

As per data released at the meeting, up to 90 per cent of startup projects failed largely due to their ability to commercialise the products. This is, in turn, because of the lack of support for these early stage companies.

Therefore, in conjunction with the support centre programme, Ho Chi Minh City is also planning a stock exchange for startups. This idea was proposed by government officials in mid-2016, and this week, the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE) moved a step forward by pressing the importance of such establishment.

“HOSE will assist in shaping the exchange and connecting the participants within the startup ecosystem, as well as support the exchange in terms of infrastructure and operating experience,” the government publication Vietnam News Agency cited Tran Dac Sinh, chairman of HOSE.

Also read:

Vietnam needs to make it easier for startups to raise funds and allow investors to exit

Vietnam plans new law for venture capital investments

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.