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Start-ups win $10m from US firm

Update: March, 10/2016 - 11:14
The fund will be led by Venture Partners Binh Trần and Eddie Thái, who joined 500 Startups last year to lead the firm's Việt Nam efforts. — Photo

HÀ NỘI (VNS) — The United States (US) venture capital firm 500 Startups announced an investment fund of US$10 million for Vietnamese start-ups at American Innovation Roadshow in HCM City on Tuesday.

The fund aims to make 100 to 150 investments into Việt Nam-connected start-ups, according to the firm.

In addition to financing, portfolio companies will get access to 500 Startups’ international network of 3,000 mentors and founders, $1.5 million of credits with partners such as Amazon and Facebook and other support to help them scale up their business.

The fund will be led by Venture Partners Bình Trần and Eddie Thái, who joined 500 Startups last year to lead the firm’s Việt Nam efforts.

“Việt Nam is a vibrant and growing country, with many talented entrepreneurs and engineers,” Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, said.

“500 Startups plans to work together with Vietnamese investors and the local tech community to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. Eddie and Bình are experienced operators who combine Silicon Valley know-how with Vietnamese hustle, and they are going to invest aggressively in the best and brightest founders all over the country,” he added.

Việt Nam has more people than California, New York, and Florida combined, and more than 40 million of them are on the internet, according to 500 Startups.

It is one of the world’s fastest growing economies since 1990 and has been Apple’s fastest growing market in the world, the firm said while talking about why they chose Việt Nam.

Startups has already invested in several Việt Nam-connected companies, including Ipsy, Lightbox, DataRank, and ELSA, in addition to Ticketbox and Tappy.

The American Innovation Roadshow kicked off its Việt Nam visit with a conference with over 25 Vietnamese entrepreneurs and 200 participants from the start-up community in Hà Nội on Monday.

The conference was hosted by the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development (NATEC) at the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).

The delegation sought to increase understanding of how innovation drives the US economic growth; to congratulate Việt Nam on nurturing the start-up ecosystem; to encourage the continued promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, and to connect US companies with government officials and key innovator stakeholders in Viet Nam to facilitate business opportunities.  — VNS

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