Vietnam Dealbook: Edtech startups win $90K from Google, FB; VC norms to be eased

In developments related to the startup ecosystem in Vietnam, Facebook and Google sponsored the Edtech Asia Hackathon 2016, organised by Topica Edtech Group, while local authorities are planning to set up fresh terms for venture capital regulations.

Four edtech teams win $90,000 from Topica, Google & Facebook

A total grant of $90,000 from a Google and Facebook-sponsored edtech competition was given to four Vietnamese education startups at the first Edtech Asia Hackathon 2016, held by Topica Edtech Group.

Social and emotional learning app Kid REC, developed by Eezy team, won the $80,000 FbStart prize from social network giant Facebook for the best mobile app category.

Music learning platform Muzikator, bedtime technology Somia, which helps convey English lessons to a sleeping person, and 3D learning app VirtualBook, won $6,000 from Google and Topica, and will have access to Facebook’s Accelerator Track programme as well as the tickets to Edtech Asia Summit in Bangkok.

The hackathon attracted 19 developer teams who were judged by eminent entrepreneurs in the education and technology areas.

Last year, Topica announced its partnership with Edtech Asia to promote growth of Vietnamese edtech startups. “Hackathon is one of the secrets  that make the continuing success and growth of tech giants like Google and Facebook. Simple yet powerful details such as the “Like” button and Facebook Message were the outcomes of hackathons,” Topica said, in a statement.

Also read: Vietnam’s Topica launches EdTechLab, to foster disruptive tech in education

Regulations for establishing VCs eased

It will take only three days to set up a venture capital fund in Vietnam in a move that aims to simplify and boost the startup investment ecosystem, according to local media reports.

“Venture capital funds must not comply with the regulations for securities investment funds,” the VnExpress newswire cited a drafted circular on VC establishment.

The VC firms are not allowed to borrow from financial institutions to make investments even as they can raise funds through both existing and new members, the drafted circular reportedly stated.

DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that Vietnam will release a VC law based on the provisions for securities investment funds. However, the latest development indicates in the change in the way the regulations will be framed.

Angel investors in the country are working on a platform for co-investment in startups, but it is not easy to launch a securities investment fund-like vehicle because the regulatory requirements for setting up such funds are too high. Also, early-stage startups often need only small capital, up to tens of thousands of dollars, to take off. Hence, the terms for securities investment would have discouraged venture capital activities.

Also read:

No VC fund, no startup ecosystem, Tech minister Quan tells Vietnam’s National Assembly

Vietnam working on policy push to build VC ecosystem to fund tech startups

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.