Vietnam accelerator VIISA launches first portfolio of startups

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Vietnam’s latest accelerator VIISA – a partnership between Dragon Capital, FPT Corporation and Hanwha Investment – has started investing $15,000 in each of its portfolio startups.

The accelerator launched its first batch of eight startups on January 19, shortlisted from more than 150 companies from Southeast Asia.

Promising teams are poised for a $200,000 follow-on funding, the programme said in a statement.

The $8-million accelerator was introduced in September 2016 as the joint effort of Vietnam’s leading IT group FPT and Dragon Capital, the longest-standing fund manager in the country, which then attracted South Korea’s Hanwha Group to participate.

Before kicking off the inaugural batch, VIISA hired Adrian Tan, former entrepreneur-in-residence of Singapore-based incubator JFDI, as programme director.

JFDI closed its programme last year. Tan moved to Vietnam as he was attracted by the abundance of tech talent in this country. “Vietnam has also seen its diaspora returning to do business. These are key components of a striving economy,” Tan told DEALSTREETASIA.

Vietnam has seen a lot of buzz in mobile technology, according to the director.

The country is too early for disruptive technology given the nascent stage of its startup ecosystem. However, VIISA’s first batch has gathered startups like Butterfly Salon, which applies data science, computer vision and AI in the beauty segment, and Wisepass  – which is disrupting the business model of lifestyle.

“It is disruptive in a sense that the startups are giving a twist in this emerging market,” Tan said.

Other startups under VIISA’s first batch include marketplace Fastsell, KFit-like app WeFit, legal platform Lexis, wireless solution provider Honeynet, marketing automation startup Usedata and Singapore’s car repair service app Fixir.

As a former programme director at JFDI, Tan leverages his network to make connection between Vietnamese startups and other stakeholders. The operation of VIISA is also augmented by the networks of its partners.

“We think we can bring a lot more to the table. And it’s always good to have competition to give startups better term sheet, deals, network and exposure,” he said.

With a regional focus, VIISA aims to help Vietnamese startups create greater impact and regional startups expand into Vietnam.

Also read:

FPT, Dragon Capital team up to launch Vietnam startup accelerator

Vietnam 2017: Top startups to watch out for

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.