As with most companies in Southeast Asia, Vietnam startups are reaping the benefits of increased venture capitalist (VCs) investment in the region. While the pandemic slowed down the rate of funding poured into the country, which fell by a staggering 48% in 2020 compared to the previous year, green shoots are emerging, and Vietnam appears to be on track to emerge as one of the strongest economies in the region.
The initial drop in funding as COVID-19 took hold has eased, and VCs are now again investing in this emerging sector. Due to the pandemic restrictions, the general public’s shift to shopping online, embracing TikTok and increased use of financial technology (fintech) has ushered in the current Vietnam VC trends.
For many in Vietnam, becoming a more digitalised society and embracing innovation has become the norm, leading to enhanced opportunities for those looking to profit from investments. With governmental support for startups and projections that the digital economy will be worth $57 billion USD by 2025, it is no surprise that many VCs consider the country as a secure investment.
We take a closer look at the brightening exit landscape in Vietnam in 2022
Here are some of this year’s winners in the investment stakes so far:
Webtretho and Bé Yêu
In April 2022, the Singaporean-based Parentinc group acquired two Vietnamese online platforms focussing on women and parenting. Webtretho, a digital hub for the women of Vietnam offering advice and information on all aspects of life, as well as the parenting platform, Bé Yêu, were acquired for an undisclosed amount by the company backed by East Ventures VC.
Parentinc participated in 3 funding rounds in March and April 2022, participated in 3 funding rounds, bringing its total funding to $37.3 million USD and allowing it to undertake the acquisitions.
Fintech startup Trusting Social, based in Singapore and Vietnam, is the region’s largest credit risk assessment company. Since its inception in 2013, the company, which provides lending institutions with detailed creditor data, has increased in value to over $100 million USD.
Trusting Social now has some major support for continued growth, thanks to a $65 million USD investment from Vietnam-based Masan Group Corporation for a 25% stake in the company..
Due to movement restrictions during the pandemic, online shopping for everyday essentials rapidly increased. Expertly riding this tidal wave of eCommerce was the one-stop-shop, Tiki. The exponential growth of Vietnam’s online shopping sector has piqued the interest of both domestic and foreign investors in companies like Tiki. investors.
With a current total funding value of over $450 million USD and plans to float on the US Stock Exchange, South Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group acquired 10% of Tiki through its Shinhan Bank and Shinhan Card subsidiaries. The deal was closed for an undisclosed amount on May 2, 2022, and will secure the eCommerce startup’s future as it strives to continue its growth trajectory.
Headquartered in Switzerland and Singapore, Acronis seeks to invest in the development of a cybersecurity R&D hub in Vietnam. To this end, the tech unicorn is ring-fencing approximately $50 million USD in order to build the new centre by the end of 2023.
In May 2021, the cybersecurity giants received Private Equity Round funding of $250 million USD from CVC Capital Partners. Acronis is now in a position to invest extensively in expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia, with this investment increasing the total amount invested in the firm to over $400 million USD.
In Vietnam, motorbikes have remained a popular means of transportation. Dat Bike, an innovative electric motorcycle startup, is helping the country in transitioning to a greener, more efficient mode of transportation.The environmentally-friendly two-wheeler manufacturer recently launched a new, improved version of its first bike, the Weaver, which will be available from July 2022. Dat Bike hopes that the latest iteration will help it corner the local and Southeast Asian markets.
The recent Series A $5.3 million USD investment, led by Jungle Ventures, is expected to help Dat Bike continue to grow and produce energy-efficient motorbikes, bringing its total funding to almost $8 million USD.
As the Vietnamese economy dusts itself off from the global health crisis and continues to position itself as an investment-friendly nation, local and international venture capital companies are taking note of the Vietnam startups poised to step into the limelight. Companies who were able to ride out the early days of the pandemic’s financial turmoil and continue to flourish are proving to be valuable assets for those hoping to make money in this rapidly digitalising country.
The current Vietnam VC trends primarily focus on fintech startups. Despite this, optimism is increasing in most sectors as the country continues to draw investors and those hoping to conduct business there.