Vietnam's tech startups: a force to be reckoned with

By Reuters/Natasha Howitt    April 13, 2016 | 05:17 am PT
Vietnam's young tech talent is successfully drawing foreign funds to the country's booming startup scene.

Vietnam's tech startup scene is booming... and glued to screens in offices and work spaces across the country are the young, tech-savvy brains behind it.

Three years ago, a Hanoi-based startup released 'Flappy Bird' - a game that quickly became an international hit.

This has set the ball rolling.

Financial powerhouses have upped their investment, and venture capitalists are announcing Vietnam-focused funds.

They all hope a little financial nurturing will yield another success.

Silicon Valley-based "500 Startups" has set aside $10 million for the country. It estimates 1,000 or more startups to launch in Vietnam every year.

One of its shoestring investments is Beeketing whose 26-year-old founder says foreign interest is all down to Vietnam's cheap, but skilled, labour.

Most of the startups are in e-commerce, a sector where sales grew around 35 percent last year to $4 billion.

Compared to China and India, Vietnam's startups are getting little government support.

All they have is a scheme dubbed "Vietnam Silicon Valley", which includes legal advice, shared work spaces, and $10,000 in cash.

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