Being the first media company in Vietnam to be listed on the stock exchange, Yeah1 made the largest divestment deal ever recorded in Vietnam when VinaCapital received $127 million USD from its original $3 million investment in the company.
In order for Vietnamese start-ups and investors to have a better overview of the market and judge its future potential, the Topica Founder Institute (TFI) has published its annual report on the investment environment for Vietnam’s startups in 2018.
TFI’s report shows that the total investment in Vietnamese start-ups reached $889 million USD, three times higher than the previous year. During 2018 there were 92 investments in Vietnam’s start-ups, similar to 2017, and double 2016 in terms of number of deals – 50 investment deals worth $205 million USD).
The highlight of 2018 is that Vietnam received "huge" investment deal. The top 10 transactions brought in $734 million USD, accounted for 83% of the total agreed value. This included $30 million USD investments in Sendo, Topica and Yeah1 and seven other undisclosed deals.
Most notably, Yeah1 - Vietnam's first media company was listed on the stock exchange and VNG has become Vietnam's first "unicorn" startup in the field of technology, with valuations up to $1.2 - $1.5 billion.
Vietnam also saw several Merger & Acquisition (M&A) deals in start-ups in 2018 including Grab’s acquisition of Moca and Sea’s acquisition of Foody.
The TFI’s report also notes that there are six sectors that attracted the most investor interest. These are:
• Fintech $117 million USD
• E-Commerce $104 million USD
• TravelTech $64 million USD
• Edtech $54 million USD
• Logistics $54 million USD
• Online Real Estate $47 million USD
One of the most active areas was the ride-sharing market and Vietnamese startups like Be Group, FastGo and Vato successfully raising new investment funds to compete with foreign rivals like Grab and Go-Jek.
In 2018 Vietnam also witnessed the emergence of many domestic venture capital funds such as VietCapital Ventures, Startup Viet Partners, Teko Ventures. Vingroup's investment fund Vingroup Ventures announced the investment budget of $300 million USD, $100 million USD of which VinaCapital Ventures accounts for.
Vietnamese’s existing venture capital funds such as ESP Capital, 500 Startups and VIISA continue to boost their operations and completed 32 new investment deals in 2018, accounting for 60% of the pre-seed and seed investments.