VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese startups have become more and more attractive to angel investors, seed-funds and series A-funds, both domestic and foreign.


In February 2015, the Vietnamese startup community was excited by the news that Hubert Burda Media, one of Germany’s largest media groups, announced its investment in Coc Coc, a Vietnamese search engine, or ‘Vietnam’s Google’.

Vietnam still cannot be compared to Singapore, the country with the most developed startup community and the highest venture capital attractor in South East Asia, which ranks 10th among 20 leading cities in the development of startup ecosystem. However, it has been steadfastly attracting foreign venture capital, especially from Japan, for many years.

Nguyen Manh Dung, chief representative of Japan's CyberAgent Ventures Inc (CAV) in Vietnam and Thailand, commented that the Vietnamese startup community has developed more strongly than ever before.

CAV, plus with Golden Gate Ventures and SBI Holdings, are the typical examples of the second venture investment wave in Vietnam, while IDG Ventures Capital and DFJ VinaCapital represent the first wave which appeared in Vietnam prior to 2007.

An analyst noted that venture funds now show their biggest interest in e-commerce businesses which provide B2C and C2C services. Of B2C businesses, investors have poured money into B2C marketplace (Vatgia, Chodientu, Lamido), Retail B2C (Tiki, Lazada) and Vertical B2C (Thegioididong, Zalora).

In B2C marketplace, CAV injected money into Vatgia, while in Retail B2C (General), it poured capital into Tiki.

Of seven big investment deals made by Japanese investors in 2014, four were made by CAV.

Having been present in Vietnam since late 2008, CAV has invested in 15 Vietnamese firms with disbursed capital of $700,000-1 million for every firm. 

These include firms which have received capital for the second time (series B) and some others which received CAV’s support when ideas were raised, such as the cases of Vexere and Foody. The firms CAV invests in all do business on the basis of internet and mobility.

CAV is seeking opportunities to invest in C2C firms after realizing that the business field has great development potential thanks to the popularity of smart devices.

In September 2014, SBI Holdings Inc together with two Japanese companies - Econtext ASIA Ltd and BEENOS Inc - bought a 33 percent stake of Sen Do, which runs and

In 2013, Sumitomo bought a 30 percent stake of, an e-commerce firm.

Investors from many other countries have also been eyeing Vietnamese firms. AIA, which previously focused on life insurance, now plans to invest in healthcare technology firms.

AIA joined forces with Nest, a Hong Kong investment institution, to run AIA Accelerator, a program supporting startups that is very well known in Asia.