|500 Startups partners Eddie Thai (right) and Binh Tran. — Photo nhipcaudautu.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Early-stage venture capital investor 500 Startups Việt Nam has raised US$14 million to invest in local companies, said the fund in its latest blog post.
The amount raised was $4 million more than the initial target set when it announced the fund in 2016. 500 Startups Việt Nam is backed by Silicon Valley startup accelerator and venture capital firm 500 Startups.
Its investors include multimedia retailer GS Home Shopping Inc., consumer electronics manufacturer Humax Co. and NCORE Ventures.
500 Startups partners Eddie Thai and Binh Tran manage the fund. Thai is the former director of CJ CGV Việt Nam, a cinema and film distribution company; Tran is the co-founder and former chief technology officer of the social influence tool Klout, which sold to Lithium Technologies for $200 million in 2014.
“Several years ago, Việt Nam was not an obvious tech investment destination: the country was poor … fraught with bureaucracy and struggling to create an ecosystem for the few, disconnected founders and even fewer active angels and VCs,” Thai wrote in a blog post.
“But entrepreneurial folks did see elements of something special: a fast-growing economy; a substantial supply of low-cost, high-tech talent; and a broad and experienced Vietnamese diaspora increasingly interested in reconnecting with and contributing to the country. A new wave of tech founders decided to take the plunge.”
500 Startups Việt Nam has funneled a total of $3 million in 36 companies to date. It invests across industries, including in e-commerce, edtech and blockchain. The partners plan to back up to 64 more companies, writing checks sized between $100,000 and $250,000. — VNS