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Investments in Vietnamese Startups Tripled in 2018 - Vietnam Briefing News

In 2018, investments in Vietnamese startups reached US$889 million, nearly triple the deal value compared to US$291 million in 2017, according to a report released by Topica Founder Institute (TFI), a startup accelerator programme. The number of deals in 2018 was the same as 2017, at 92.

Last year was a significant year for Vietnamese startups with Yeah1, a digital video firm being listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange at a valuation of $500 million. In addition, VNG, an internet and gaming firm, is on track to be the country’s first unicorn with a valuation of over US$1 billion.

Funding

Domestic investment funds accounted for more than half of the US$889 million funding. Some of the major funds announced included Vingroup Venture’s US$300 million fund, VinaCapital Venture’s US$ 100 million fund, and others such as VietCapital Ventures, Startup Viet Partners, and Teko Ventures.

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Existing domestic venture capital funds such as ESP Capital, 500 Startups, and VIISA, accounted for 60 percent of the total pre-seed and seed investments.

Overall, seed and pre-seed investments accounted for US$10 million for 48 deals. Series A and Pre-A investments reached US$136 million for 22 deals, while Series B, C, and D investments reached US$86 million (six deals), US$178 million (five deals), and US$50 million (one deal) respectively.

Acquisitions and Pre-IPO investments accounted for US$417 million for nine deals.

Top Deals

The top 10 deals attracted US$734 million, accounting for 83 percent of the total deal value. Major investments included US$100 million in entertainment group Yeah1, US$51 million in e-commerce platform Sendo, and US$50 million in educational technology group Topica.

Seven undisclosed deals attracted a combined investment of US$533 million.

Last year also witnessed several M&A deals, such as Grab’s acquisition of Moca, Yeah1’s acquisition of Netlink, and VnTrip’s merger with Atadi.

Sectors

The top five sectors in terms of investments in 2018 were fintech, e-commerce, travel tech, logistics, and educational tech.

Fintech led with eight deals worth US$117 million, followed by e-commerce with five deals worth US$104 million. Travel related startups attracted US$64 million for eight deals, followed by logistics and educational tech at US$50 million.

Investments in 2018 not only highlights the potential of the domestic startup sector but also demonstrates the growing interest and capability of domestic investors for funding startups.