Vietnam: Two startups under accelerator Topica Founder Institute seal seed funding

Visual from the website of Meete, an incubatee of the Topica Founder Institute.

Two startups Meete and FreelancerVietunder Vietnamese accelerator Topica Founder Institute, have secured seed investments before their graduation day.

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.

Prior to Meete, Hajime had invested a small amount in marketing startup Beeketing, which has secured an undisclosed seed funding from US venture capital firm 500 Startups.

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.

Also read:

Topica trains startups to be entrepreneurs: Tran Manh Cong

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

Vietnam’s mobile internet firm Appota plans to raise ‘tens of million dollars’ in Series C

Has Vietnam’s e-commerce marketing platform Beeketing raised seed round from 500 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.