Rising star in the start-up scene

Vietnam is a rising star in the South-East Asia start-up scene and will become the third largest ecosystem in the region this year, according to venture fund Nextrans Vietnam.

A report by Nextrans said there were about 3,800 start-ups in the country, of which four were unicorns and 11 were valued at over US$100mil (RM419mil).

In 2021, investment poured into Vietnamese startups reached more than US$$1.3bil (RM5.4bil). Fintech was the leading sector in terms of total deal value, with two deals worth over US$100mil (RM418mil).

Notably, VNLife successfully raised over US$250mil (RM1bil) in a Series B funding round in July. In December, Momo followed suit with an investment of US$200mil (RM)837mil.

After Fintech, e-commerce is the second most attractive sector to investors. Tiki made the largest contribution with a Series E funding round of US$258mil (RM1bil) led by AIA.

Undoubtedly, Vietnam had emerged as a start-up hub that was catching up with countries like Indonesia and Singapore, the report added.

Speaking at The National Startup Festival 2022, Pham Tan Cong, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that Vietnamese people had a strong start-up spirit.

The country was ranked 44th out of 132 countries in the Global Innovation Index and 59th out of 100 regarding the start-up ecosystem in 2021.

It also came third in the list of most active start-up ecosystems in South-East Asia.

Cong believed such achievements could be attributed to the favourable government policies on startups in recent years.

“The Vietnamese government has gone to great lengths to improve the business environment in favour of start-ups,” Cong said.

A report jointly prepared by National Startup Support Centre and BambuUp highlighted that Vietnam was rapidly emerging as a dynamic economy and a development hub for innovative start-ups within the Asia-Pacific.

Last year’s first nine months saw a record high number of US$500,000 to US$3mil (RM2mil to RM12.5mil) deals in fundraising, 2.58 times higher than the same period of 2020.

There was a shift in the investment allocation ratio at different stages as well.

The proportion of US$500,000 to US$3mil and US$3mil to US$10mil (RM12.5mil to RM42mil) went up, whereas investments in pre-seed and seed stages fell.

Nine-month Series A investments hit a record of 37 deals the highest in years. As for Series B, the deals reached the largest average value since 2013. — Vietnam News/ANN

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