Investment in Vietnamese startups down 56%

By Vien Thong   April 1, 2023 | 12:31 am PT
Investment in Vietnamese startups down 56%
People work at the office of a tech startup in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters
Investment in Vietnamese startups reached $634 million in 2022, down 56% over the previous year due to the impact of global economic fluctuations.

This investment was directed to startups through 134 deals, according to the Vietnam Innovation and Technology Investment 2023 Report, published Thursday by Do Ventures, a venture fund, and the National Innovation Center (NIC).

Vietnam ranked third in the number of deals and fourth in investment in Southeast Asia last year, the report said.

"The investment decreased due to the absence of big deals," said Le Hoang Uyen Vy, managing director of Do Ventures.

By sector, financial services attracted the most investment, increasing 248%. Retail was the second, despite its capital decreasing by 57%, followed by health and education.

Vietnamese funds led the way in capital inflows for the first time, with a total of $287 million, followed by investors from Singapore, North America and South Korea. "Amid difficult circumstances, domestic investors are the ones fueling startups," Vy said.

Regarding the 2023 outlook, nearly 100% of surveyed investors said they would at least keep the current level of investment, according to the report. In the medium term, Vietnam's startup ecosystem is still very attractive.

At the "Vietnam Innovation Forum" on Thursday, Nguyen Anh Quang, senior investment director of SK - a South Korean fund that has invested $2 billion into Vietnam - is interested in consumer and healthcare projects.

South Korea’s STIC Investment, which has invested $300 million in Vietnam, is interested in startups in the fields of logistics, e-commerce, and healthcare.

Tran Duy Dong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, said Vietnam's startup ecosystem still has some areas it needs to improve, such as having few unicorns, startups valued at $1 billion upwards, venture capital funds, and big deals.

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