HSBC report dubs 10 startups 'emerging giants'

By Dat Nguyen   July 19, 2022 | 09:34 pm PT
HSBC report dubs 10 startups 'emerging giants'
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A report by HSBC and auditing firm KPMG labels 10 startups as "emerging giants" amid a surge in entrepreneurship driven by a young population and supportive government policies.

Property platform Propzy, blockchain game developer Sipher and e-commerce platform Sendo secured the top three places in Vietnam in the 2022 Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific report, which looks individually at 12 markets.

They were followed by healthcare platform Jio Health, edtech company Clevai, online fashion brand CoolMate, and human resources platform EveHR.

Delivery firm Lozi, Fintech startup VUI and real estate platform HomeBase round off the list.

The number of startups in Vietnam has nearly doubled from 1,600 before the Covid-19 pandemic to more than 3,000 now, the report said, citing figures from startup data platform Tracxn.

Driving the digital economy are a large, young population willing to test and adopt new technology consumer services, supportive government policies and a surge in funding from abroad, it said.

CEO of HSBC Vietnam, Tim Evans, said, "Vietnam has emerged as a hub for startups, closely competing with the likes of Indonesia and Singapore."

Vietnam should maintain its position as a compelling destination for tech entrepreneurs and investors, making the country a thriving environment for potential unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), he added.

But in terms of the value of its 10 leading startups, Vietnam trailed the other 11 surveyed markets at $300 million.

China led with $5 billion followed by India with $4.6 billion and Japan with $3.5 billion.

Vietnam has seen total investments in startups rise rapidly in the last three years to reach $1.06 billion in 2021, triple the 2020 figure.

The figure was higher than that of Malaysia, Taiwan or Thailand, which were among those surveyed.

Kien Nguyen, head of private enterprise at KPMG Vietnam, said strong funding is coming from Singapore, South Korea, China, and Hong Kong.

"Nearly all of this money has gone into companies addressing the domestic market. Local demand should stay strong for the next two or three years before there’s any need for consolidation, or for global or regional strategies."

Giang Tran Minh Thanh, country manager at investment fund Kasikorn Vision, said Vietnam is considered red hot for investment in Asia.

"There is a lot of capital pouring into the country, and that is why the number of startups has been rising because it is easy to receive funding."

He added that the country is one of the regional leaders in digital transformation and technology adoption, and this opens up market opportunities for startups.

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