VinaCapital launches fund to foster regional tech startups

September 01, 2018 | 09:12
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Investment fund VinaCapital launched its $100 million venture capital arm on August 30, aspiring to build billion-dollar startups that can expand outside Vietnam.
vinacapital launches fund to foster regional tech startups
VinaCapital Ventures and startups Logivan and Fastgo

The new fund, called VinaCapital Ventures, will invest between $2 million and $10 million per startupstarting with Logivan, a truck-hailing network, and FastGo, a ride-hailing application.

VinaCapital Ventures said it will work with local engineers, scientists, and innovators who have developed technologies that solve industry pain points and problems that are substantial enough to compel customers to adopt new technologies. Disruptive technologies that have the potential to create entirely new markets are another focus.

According to Khanh Tran, partner at VinaCapital Ventures, the fund will help startups develop into strong technology companies in Vietnam and assist them in building a regional presence. Specifically, the venture investor will offer capital, network, and mentorship.

Thanks to our international network, we are also open to co-invest with other global investors,” said Tran. He cited Logivan as an example: VinaCapital Ventures collaborated with Ethos Partners and Insigna, both from Singapore, to pour $1.75 million into the truck hailing network.

It is noteworthy that investments from VinaCapital Ventures have an unlimited holding time, as the fund operates as a holding company. This is the main difference from VinaCapital’s first ventures fund called DFJ VinaCapital, which is required to exit a company within a certain time frame.

The ten-year-old DFJ VinaCapital previously invested in digital media firms Yeah1 Group, Chicilon Media, and Vietnam Online Network.

According to VinaCapital co-founder and CEO Don Lam, the new fund’s flexibility of divestments and longer investment horizon allow the investor to collaborate with startups more closely.

vinacapital launches fund to foster regional tech startups
VinaCapital signed up with partners to launch Zone Startups Vietnam in early August

Earlier in August, VinaCapital announced its partnership with Zone Startups, an international programme run by Ryerson Futures to accelerate the growth of early-stage technology firms. Vietnam is the next destination for Zone Startups, after eight successful programmes in Canada and India.

Other local partners in the Zone Startups Vietnam project include UniBrand, TalentNet, and TTG Holdings.

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By Nam Phuong

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