By 2025, revenues for the global blockchain technology market are forecast to rise to $39 billion USD, with the financial sector representing 60% of that value. Despite the blockchain industry being in its early stages, venture capital (VC) firms are not shying away from investing heavily. This year, VC trends in Vietnam indicate that these types of deals and investments will surpass $1 billion USD.
The evolution of blockchain technology continues to disrupt the financial and tech worlds, ushering in a new age of unexpected solutions in many industries. Its value is not only in its potential but also in its decentralised nature, security, and public ledger of asset ownership.
In the Asia Pacific (APAC), the value of private equity investments in financial technology (fintech) is $1.1 billion USD. Vietnam’s fintech sector has shown much potential, growing by 170% from 2017 to 2020, aided by a progressively more connected population, an increase in digital transactions, and the rise of eCommerce. The country ranks second for cryptocurrency adoption worldwide, at 21%.
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According to a McKinsey Global Survey, the COVID-19 crisis accelerated the digitisation of countries and organisations worldwide. The blockchain startups Vietnam is producing is a result of the increasing investment in the nation.
Here are some of the significant blockchain-focused VC investments:
Vietnam Blockchain Corporation
As the leading pioneer of blockchain-based software solutions, Vietnam Blockchain Corporation (VBC) is raising money to take its offerings to the international stage. Its products encompass multiple sectors, including fintech, healthtech, logistics, eCommerce, public services, agriculture, and education. Its strategic partners include Microsoft, the Asia Foundation, USAID, VECOM, FSI, iDEA, and Institut Francophone International.
Recently, the company raised $500,000 USD from Vietnam Scientific Group. It will use the money to bring its innovative products to other countries in Southeast Asia (SEA), making Vietnam a blockchain hub. One of its products is CovidPass.vn, which allows users to securely store their coronavirus test certificates.
The second product is agridential.vn, which assists with every stage of the agricultural process. The process includes recording, tracing, and authenticating information when farming, harvesting, and supplying produce.
Early-stage investment VC firm Do Ventures funds tech companies creating disruptive products in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. It provides funding, mentoring by founders, support for startups, and networking with the government. Thus far, it has made six investments in companies such as Bizzi, Vuihoc.vn, Manabie, and MFast.
Do Ventures has raised over half of its fundraising goal of $50 million USD, reaching $28 million USD in a short period. The money is for funding Vietnamese tech startups to create an ecosystem of services for young people. Its investors include Sea Group, NAVER, Woowa Brothers, and Vertex Holdings.
Blockchain-based game maker Sky Mavis, which developed the Axie Infinity game, raised $152 million USD in a Series B funding round in October. High-profile venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm, and Accel led the financial backing, lifting the company’s value to $3 billion USD. Other investors include Fabric Ventures, Standard Crypto, KONVOY, FTX, Libertus Capital, Samsung NEXT, and Seven Seven Six.
The investment will help improve its infrastructure as the startup grows, recruit global talent, and boost its play-to-earn (PTE) model. They aim to use Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) –unique digital assets logged on blockchain- within the games, allowing gamers to profit from creating and distributing game assets. Thus far, their proprietary NFT marketplace has traded $2.2 billion USD in volume.
Leading crypto VC firm OnBlock invests and supports early-stage blockchain and cryptocurrency projects, focusing on blockchain, NFTs, and the Decentralised Financial (DeFi) Ecosystem. It works with the Cryptoholic Group to discuss crypto projects and advise investors. Its strategic partners include Coin68, SpaceCrypto Ventures, Kretos Ventures, Python Capital, CryptoViet, Bigcoin Capital, BlockACE, and AlphaMoon Capital.
Currently, the company is focusing on two segments: gaming and investment projects. The games include Chumbi Valley, Crypto Prophecies, DEATH ROAD, and DEMOLE – Defi Monster Legends. The investments involve companies like globe, BLOKTOPIA, Casper, blockbank, Communifty, Chromia, and Hedera Hashgraph.
OnBlock plans to research and develop its crypto ecosystem and connect projects in the Vietnam market. Its support for companies through marketing and funding will expand projects to the rest of SEA.
Even though the VC trends in Vietnam show positive signs of growth and support, the acceptance of blockchain in the country and globally is still a long way off. Regardless, the industry is providing security, ownership ledgers, and consumer-centric solutions needed in the marketplace.
The blockchain startups Vietnam is producing are bucking the slow adoption hurdle to continue innovating and disrupting various industries. The Vietnamese government should discuss regulations to keep pace with the changes blockchain technology brings to different sectors. Doing so will allow VC firms to more easily invest and propel the startups and their solutions to the public and Southeast Asia in general.