The startup world in South-East Asia (SEA) is booming, much like the rest of the world. E-commerce, online travel services and transport are well known, with fintech and e-health following on.
Currently, Vietnam has approximately 3,000 start-ups, making it the third largest startup ecosystem in Asia. The sectors where these start-ups are developing include fintech, food tech, healthcare and e-commerce. Tech sources say 3,000 more start-ups are operating driven by young entrepreneurs, modern education, access to global information, improved VC ecosystems, local tech skills and middle-class growth. For example, 70% of Vietnam’s population is under 35. Vietnam’s tech skills, especially IT engineers is a key strength.
The most well known is Vietnamese games company VND, now regarded as one of the region's Unicorns (billion dollar companies).
VC funding in Vietnam is estimated at around US$300 million per year and growing. In 2016, US$129 million was invested in fintech startups in Vietnam, such as Payoo and F88. This accounted for 63% of all startup investments for the year. In 2017, 92 startups received investments worth US$291 million. Two investments last year were US$50 million in Tiki by China’s JD.com and SoftBank put US$50 million into Sendo. Some of the most active VCs in Vietnam include IDG Ventures Vietnam, Monk’s Hill Ventures and Dragon Capital. Government support in the form of new high-tech hubs and an US$85 million startup fund are in the pipeline.
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