Vietnam’s startups bag $750m funding in first 10 months of the year

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Vietnamese startups bagged $750 million in funding across 29 deals in the first ten months of this year, the country’s science and technology minister said on Wednesday.

“The growing scale of investment shows the potential to create new unicorns in Vietnam,” said Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology, at Techfest 2019, an annual government-backed event that seeks to connect Vietnamese startups with potential investors.

Fintech was the hottest sector for investments, with the biggest deal cracked in the sector worth up to $300 million, he added. The deal is likely a reference to SoftBank and GIC Pte’s investment in VNLIFE, the parent company of payments firm VNPAY.

Another significant fintech deal this year was Vietnamese e-wallet MoMo’s Series C funding round in January led by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The investment was in the region of $100 million, making this one of the largest single rounds ever raised by a Vietnamese startup.

The minister said Vietnam’s startup ecosystem now has 38 incubators, more than 170 co-working spaces and 61 startup funds. One of the significant initiatives launched this year was a joint commitment by the Vietnam government and local and international VCs to invest 10 trillion dong ($425 million) in Vietnamese startups over the next three years.

Logistics and e-commerce were the other leading sectors to attract investor dollars. Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings made an investment, understood to be as much as $100 million, in Scommerce, the Ho Chi Minh City-headquartered logistics company.

Meanhwhile, Vietnamese e-commerce firm Sendo last month secured $61 million in a Series C funding round from existing shareholders as well as new investors including Indonesia’s EV Growth and Thailand’s Kasikornbank. E-commerce company Tiki, on the other hand, bagged funding from private equity firm Northstar Group.

“There is a huge opportunity for investing in fintech and digital wallets in Vietnam as the government is promoting cashless transactions… I think fintech, logistics and healthcare are the sectors that will attract a lot of investments in the years to come,” Eddy Hong, general manager at South Korean investment fund Nextrans told DealStreetAsia in a recent interaction.

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.