Vietnamese startups need to look outside the local market for growth, according to Jamie Camidge, head of strategic partnerships and alliances for Telstra-backed accelerator Muru-D.
The Australian accelerator, which invests up to $200,000 in cash in a startup, has incubated a Vietnamese team named GCALL in its first Singapore-based cohort. GCALL is a communication platform which connects e-commerce retailers with global customers. The startup provides the infrastructure and software of web-based call centres for e-commerce websites.
Muru-D is continuing to look at Vietnam to add to its portfolio of regional startups.
“We don’t traditionally do follow-on funding, because we’d like the market to fund the teams rather than us. We introduce the teams to angel networks as well as VCs with the objective of getting them funded from the market,” said Camidge.
Muru-D aims to transform the teams into investment-ready companies, who achieve traction and prove attractive to investors. For idea stage startups, even very small traction can lead to great outcomes, according to Camidge.
“You don’t need fundraising to get traction. For most of the companies, funding is required, but there’s too much emphasis on fundraising. The emphasis should be on growing,” he added.
A lot of Vietnamese startups are copying proven models in the world to apply in the local market, alongside a few who are doing IoT-based startups. “I think there are roles for both software and IoT-based businesses. There are great opportunities in both. As long as you have regional or global scale potential, I believe that you can always build a sustainable software business,” Camidge stated.
Vietnam has been on the radar of international venture capital firms and accelerators. While Cyberagent Ventures is still active with the latest funding in education platform Kyna.vn, IDG Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson seem to be screening new opportunities to reactivate their investment activities in the country.