Investment in Vietnamese startups drops

By Dat Nguyen   October 8, 2020 | 05:08 pm PT
Investment in Vietnamese startups drops
Entrepreneurs speak to business experts at a startup competition in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress.
Investment in Vietnamese tech startups in the first six months fell 22 percent year-on-year to $222 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stringent travel restrictions and uncertainties in the global financial markets have disrupted deal-making activities, according to a recent report by Ho Chi Minh City-based venture capital firm Do Ventures.

It said 40 deals were recorded in the first half of the year, 10 of them worth $2 million or more.

While the retail sector continued to dominate attracted funding with $64 million, there was growth seen in emerging industries like real estate infrastructure and employment generation.

The first half investment in real estate-infrastructure was $26 million, compared to $16 million in the whole of last year, while employment-related ventures attracted $36 million, compared to just $3 million last year.

Among six major economies in Southeast Asia, Vietnam accounted for 16 percent of the total investment, ranking third behind Singapore (37 percent) and Indonesia (30 percent).

Several major deals in the first six months included e-commerce platform Tiki raising $130 million from a group of investors led by Singapore-based equity fund Northstar Group in June.

Viet Valley Ventures poured money into three startups including online recruitment company JobsGo, and NextTech Group also invested in recruitment platform TopCV.

Despite a drop in investment value, Vietnam remains a promising market for investors, Do Ventures said.

Its survey of 50 active funds in six major markets in Southeast Asia found that Vietnam was preferred as a top destination for investment in the next 12 months.

Fifty-five percent of investors selected Vietnam as their first priority, followed by Indonesia (42 percent) and Singapore (14.6 percent).

The majority said Vietnam has better opportunities compared to other markets and they had already identified qualified investment opportunities before the pandemic.

Eighty percent said they plan to execute between one and five deals in the next 12 months, with focus on education, healthcare and financial services.

Last year, investment in Vietnamese startups doubled from 2018 to $861 million with 123 deals, according to Singapore-based venture capital firm Cento Ventures.

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