Here Are Vietnam’s 8 Most Active Fintech Investors and The Startups They Are Betting Onby Fintech News Vietnam May 18, 2022
2021 was a blockbuster year for Vietnamese fintech startups: established players gained traction on the back of rapid digital adoption due to COVID-19, and global investors poured millions into the sector to support the growth of promising ventures.
Last year, Vietnam took the third spot in fintech funding in Southeast Asia, behind only Singapore and Indonesia, according to the Fintech in ASEAN 2021 report by UOB, PwC Singapore, and the Singapore Fintech Association. Vietnamese fintech companies secured almost a tenth of the total 167 deals, amounting to US$388 million in funding, and attracted two out of the region’s 13 US$100 million+ mega-rounds.
As fintech continues to pick up steam in Vietnam, we look today at the investors supporting that momentum. For this list, we’ve selected eight of the most active investors in the Vietnamese fintech sector, looking at the startups they’re betting on.
Launched in March 2015, Y Combinator is an American technology startup accelerator. It has been used to launch more than 3,000 companies, including Stripe, Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, Dropbox, Twitch, Flightfox, and Reddit.
Y Combinator has programs and resources that support founders throughout the life of their company: Startup School teaches the basics of starting a company; the YC batch program helps founders as they build their product, talk to their customers, and raise funding; Work at a Startup makes it easy for founders to find their first engineers; YC Series A helps founders launch their A round; YC Growth Program provides founders with resources to scale their companies and hire an executive team; and YC Continuity invests in their later stage rounds.
By January 2021, the combined valuation of the top Y Combinator companies was more than US$300 billion.
In Vietnam, Y Combinator has invested in seven tech startups, including Gimo, a provider of on-demand payroll services; Anfin, a stock trading app; Infina, an investing platform allowing users to invest in stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds; and Nano Technologies, the operator of Vui, a mobile app that lets workers in Vietnam access their earned wages immediately.
Founded in 2011, Jungle Ventures is a Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm that invests in and helps build tech category leaders from Asia. The firm invests in three macro themes: digital brands serving the young consumers of Asia; technology platforms that help Asian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt technology; and disruptive technology ideas with global potential.
Jungle Ventures has been the earliest backers of successful companies such as Livspace, Reddoorz, Pomelo, Kredivo, TookiTaki, Deskera, Sociolla amongst others. In Vietnam, the firm is backing fintech startups including Medici, a startup striving to make healthcare and insurance more accessible and affordable to the masses; Timo, Vietnam’s first digital banking platform; and KiotViet, a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) and store management software suite with inventory management, cash flow management, marketing, and management solutions.
Founded in 2014, Goodwater Capital is a VC firm headquartered in Burlingame, California, which focuses on investing in the consumer technology sector.
Goodwater Capital partners with companies to deliver world-changing products and services to billions of people, and leverages data to identify breakout companies early and support them throughout their lifecycle, from seed to IPO.
The Goodwater Capital community spans more than 25 countries, with over 140 companies powering US$150 billion in annualized financial and e-commerce services. Its portfolio companies cover education for over 250 million people across social and educational platforms, cares for the health of nearly 50 million lives, and helps transport and house over 75 million families. Its portfolio companies include TIER Mobility, Tide, ZeroDown, Toss and Kyash.
While based in the US, the VC firm has also been looking at investment potentials in Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, its investments include M_Service, the operator of MoMo, Vietnam’s biggest e-wallet, Anfin and Nano Technologies.
In 2013, for the first time in Vietnam, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Vietnamese Government created an initiative called Vietnam Silicon Valley (VSV) directed at stimulating the growth of technology startups in Vietnam.
In 2014, the team behind Project VSV founded Vietnam Silicon Valley Accelerator (VSVA), making it the first startup accelerator in Vietnam, to continue its mission in developing the Vietnam startup ecosystem.
And in 2019, to further draw attention to startups at the most highly potential but also highly underserved segment in Vietnam, the team raised its first venture fund in addition to its accelerator fund, and started operating under the name VSV Capital.
Since its inception, VSV Capital has made over 80 investment deals from pre-seed to Series B. Some of its notable portfolio companies include Loship, Base.vn, Modmo, Ship60 and Vibeji.
According to its website, VSV Capital has 22 startups in its portfolio, including Finhome, a real estate finance platform that helps connect fund seekers with investors; Hectagon Finance, a decentralized venture fund enabled by Olympus DAO’s game theory and DEFI 2.0; and Shio, an automated insurance search engine helping mothers quickly find the best insurance package for their child.
500 Global Vietnam
500 Global Vietnam is a US$14 million fund aiming to make ~80 investments into Vietnam-connected startups, i.e., startups built by Vietnamese talent and/or targeting the Vietnam market.
500 Global Vietnam strives to help define best practices for early-stage startups in Vietnam. Specifically, it wants to train Vietnamese angel investors about tech startup investment, be a guide for regional tech investors about the Vietnam opportunities, and provide resources on startup practices for founders. 500 Global Vietnam also aims to advocate for a more streamlined legal framework for startups and help Vietnamese corporations and SMEs partner with or invest in startups and innovation.
500 Global Vietnam has 15 startups in its portfolio, according to its website, operating in various verticals including e-commerce, fintech, edtech, adtech and healthcare. In fintech, its investments include Papaya, an insurtech startup developing a healthcare and wellness platform for employees; Bizzi, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered accounts payable automation software-as-a-service (SaaS); and Sky Mavis, a blockchain-based gaming unicorn.
VinaCapital Ventures is a US$100 million Vietnam-focused VC platform focused on investing in and building world-class technology companies and incorporating them into a full digital ecosystem.
The firm’s mission is to help develop strong technology companies in Vietnam and assist them in building a regional presence. Its team combines a diverse set of skills and experience, ranging from entrepreneurship, product marketing, operational management, and technology strategy, to developing client bases, deal-making and capital raising.
VinaCapital Ventures is part of VinaCapital, one of Vietnam’s leading asset management companies with US$1.8 billion in assets under management.
According to its website, VinaCapital Ventures has 18 companies in its portfolio (direct and indirect holding), including Fundiin, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) startup; Wee Digital, a provider of biometrics-based solutions and deep data analytics to the banking industry; and Timo.
Zone Startups Vietnam
Launched in 2018, Zone Startups Vietnam is part of the global network of Zone Startups accelerator programs.
Zone Startups Vietnam sources forward-thinking founders and strong teams with visions to become fast-growing market leaders. It provides hands-on strategic and tactical guidance for startups looking to drive market validation and customer acquisition, as well as access to investors, corporate partners, and advisors.
Zone Startups Vietnam offers an innovation consulting practice that lets corporate clients explore and embrace new ideas and technologies alongside leading-edge startups. For high-potential startups, it can provide seed capital and support for future financing efforts.
According to its website, Zone Startups Vietnam has 30 startups in its portfolio, including Ezin, an insurtech company, and Fundiin.
Established in 2020, 1982 Ventures is a Singapore-based VC firm focused on investing in early stage fintech startups in Southeast Asia with a core focus on seed-stage fintech companies in Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore. 1982 Ventures’ focus makes the firm the first port of call for fintech founders and the first money in.
1982 Ventures’ investments include Brick, a Southeast Asian open banking API platform, Homebase, a proptech startup from Vietnam, and Wagely, Indonesia’s first earned wage access platform Wagely.
1982 Ventures currently has 21 companies in its portfolio, according to its website, including Vietnam’s Infina and Fundiin.
Featured image credit: Edited from Unsplash