Investors more cautious about pouring money into startups

Analysts believe that mentors and angel investors in Vietnam are spending time taking care of their existing investment portfolios, rather than seeking new investors.

They said it is now even more difficult to call for capital after the scandal of WeWork-Uber and the failure of WeFit. Covid-19 has also made investors shrink.

Investors more cautious about pouring money into startups

Huynh Phuoc Tho, co-founder and deputy director of eDoctor



“The failures of a series of startups in the world and Vietnam have forced investors, like me, to think very carefully before making investment decisions,” said Nguyen Tien Trung, an angel investor, and chair of Kanyo Vietnam SJC and co-founder of Song Han Incubator.

Covid has had serious impact on the investment market. The business of both investors and startups has been falling, prompting investors to become ‘defensive’.

Trung said he has investments in eight or nine startups and most of them are facing difficulties because of Covid-19, with some startups reporting 50-60 percent decrease in revenue.

Startups in some business fields which have seen benefits during COVID-19, such as medicine and pharmacy, edu-tech and entertainment (digital content), are still being ‘hunted’ by investors.

However, startups in some business fields which have seen benefits during COVID-19, such as medicine and pharmacy, edu-tech and entertainment (digital content), are still being ‘hunted’ by investors.

 


Trung said that not all business fields suffer from Covid-19. If startups in the fields can prove their business model potential or groundbreaking products, they will get money from investors even more quickly.

In late March 2020, eDoctor caught special attention from the public when receiving $1 million worth of capital from four international funds, namely CyberAgent Ventures, Genesia Ventures (Japan), Bon Angels and Nextrans (South Korea).

According to Huynh Phuoc Tho, co-founder and deputy director of the startup, there are three main reasons for investors to agree to provide capital. First, eDoctor gained initial success in the world. Second, the startup is good at localizing the model for use in Vietnamese conditions. Third, the team at eDoctor is good at technology and has expertise.

At this time, investors are choosing startups that have launched products into the market or have ideas which can show their efficiency.

However, he said that investors will persist with their principles in both pre- and post-Covid periods. They will just be more cautious and consider projects more thoroughly. Investors won’t focus on potential profits of startups, but analyze the abilities and visions of founders.

A report of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) showed that in the first 10 months of 2019 alone, Vietnam’s startups attracted $750 million worth of capital.

Chi Mai 

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Clever Group president: WeFit may be first of startup bankruptcies in 2020

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