Hajime Hotta, Japanese angel investor, serial entrepreneur and president of Cinnamon, a Singapore-based sharing app company, has invested in marketing platform for local restaurants, Meete. And, Khanh Ho, CEO of group purchasing websites Nhom Mua and Cung Mua, has invested in FreelancerViet, which helps freelancers seeking jobs.
Topica Founder Institute has incubated four batches of Vietnamese startups since 2011. The fourth season began with 33 founders. However, only six startups have got to the end of the programme through 15 milestones of training.
“We want to focus on the quality of startups. That is why although there were only six startups left for the showcase, over 30 investors attended the graduation ceremony,” Tran Manh Cong, co-director of the programme, said.
“Startups of this batch are more diverse, their solutions directly unlock market needs, and the founders are also more mature,” he added.
The showcase attracted the presence of large VC investors such as 500 Startups, IDG Ventures Vietnam, Cyberagent Ventures, IMJ Investment Partners, Monk’s Hill Ventures, Catcha Ventures, COENT Venture Partners and Unitus Impact, as well as interest of several private equity firms like Vietnam Investment Group and Mekong Capital.
Four other startups in the fourth batch of Topica Founder Institute investees are Adtop – advertising platform for e-commerce and games, travel booking website Atadi.vn, hardware provider Induskey and flower delivery service Hoayeuthuong.com.
Over the last four years, Topica Founder Institute has produced more than graduated 34 startup founders. Eight of its graduates raised over $10 million in funding and are valued at around $60 million.
Among them were Do Tuan Anh (his startup, Appota, closed a series B round last year, and was seen as one of the most successful startups in Vietnam); Hoang Nguyen, founder of sales management software S3co, which is funded by Coca Cola‘s RedGarage Ventures; Mai Duy Quang who had several startups and is co-director of the Topica Founder Institute; Truong Manh Quan, founder of Beeketing; and Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Co-founder of Vlance, one of the MaGIC cohorts.
Being an edtech startup, Topica Edtech Group, in which Topica Founder Institute is a unit, has launched the EdtechLab with the target to nurture young startups in applying new disruptive technologies in education.