Vietnamese venture capital executives Nguyen Manh Dzung (formerly with Cyberagent Capital) and Le Hoang Uyen Vy (ex-general partner at ESP Capital) have launched a new VC firm, Do Ventures, that is seeking to raise $50 million for its debut vehicle.
Do Ventures Fund I has achieved the first close and hit the half-way mark in terms of fundraising.
Limited partners (LPs or investors) in the fund include first-generation entrepreneurs in Vietnam as well as institutional investors from Korea and Singapore such as NAVER, Sea, Vertex Holdings and Woowa Brothers, among others, according to a statement.
The VC firm is focused on investing in Vietnamese startups across sectors from the seed to the Series B stage.
“The first step is to lead seed round investment where the funding gap exists in Vietnam,” Do Ventures said. The firm will make follow-on investments up to the Series B round, in which its LPs and other investors may also co-invest.
Vertex Ventures SEA & India and Vertex Growth Fund, as part of the Vertex family of funds, may look at co-investment opportunities. NAVER, Sea and Woowa Brothers may step in to provide early-stage startups with access to their extensive infrastructure networks and industrial knowledge base, Do Ventures added.
Dzung was the first investor in several Vietnamese tech companies including e-commerce firm Tiki, food tech company Foody (acquired by Sea), Batdongsan.com (acquired by ProperyGuru), listed digital marketing firm CleverAds and bus ticketing platform Vexere (later invested by Woowa Brothers).
Dzung was also an advisor to ESP Capital since its inception.
Meanwhile, Vy is an e-commerce veteran with over 10 years of experience in the industry. At ESP Capital, she has invested in 15 businesses.
“I left ESP to start Do Ventures, which is independent and unrelated to the former. One of the reasons why we set up this new fund is to collaborate with later-stage investors so that we could attract more significant resources for the startup ecosystem in Vietnam,” Vy told us in an email interaction.
“The Vietnam consumption market is at its tipping point and ready to be captured by technology companies with innovative products. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to boost the local economic growth at this very key circumstance,” said Dzung, co-founding partner of Do Ventures.
The firm said it will set up an automatic reporting system that empowers founders to understand the real-time performance of the business and enables the fund’s investment officers to gain a deeper understanding of the company’s overall operations.
Vy is unfazed about the timing of the fundraising as also scouting for deals amidst the global pandemic.
“Dzung started his VC career amid the global financial crisis 12 years ago. That was also when he made the best investments [in Vietnam] on behalf of Cyberagent Capital. It’s no doubt COVID-19 has made it really challenging, but we believe that the companies we’re backing now would grow and achieve their lofty goals in the future, and we’d like to take this challenging time a great opportunity rather than slowing down,” she said in the email.