500 Startups, the largest Silicon Valley investment fund confirmed that it will launch a dedicated $10 million USD fund for Vietnam and hopes to invest into 100 – 150 Vietnamese companies with an average investment of $250,000 USD each.
500 Startups has become known as an active investor in promising markets and has several active funds including – 500 Durians (Southeast Asia), 500 TukTuks (Thailand), 500 Kimchi (Korea) and 500 StartupWallah (India).
According to Eddie Thai – the executing partner of the fund, over 1,000 new startups are estimated to come online each year. In order to be an active fund that achieves acceptable returns on its investments the company hopes to fund 50 top companies every year.
500 Startups has already invested into a variety of Vietnamese companies including ... Ipsy – a beauty startup; Lightbox – a social photography APP; DataRank – a social intelligence platform; ELSA – a English language mobile APP; TicketBox – an online ticketing platform; and Tappy - a local social networking APP.
Dave McClure, the founder of the 500 Startups Investment Funds, has stated that Vietnam is a vibrant and growing country, with many talented entrepreneurs and engineers; 500 Startups plans to work together with Vietnamese investors and the local tech community to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem and wants to connect Vietnamese start-ups to Silicon Valley while also integrating Silicon Valley know-how into the Vietnam start-up ecosystem.
The Vietnam entrepreneur ecosystem contains positive elements for attracting international investment funds. Other funding sources include DFJ VinaCapital, IDG Ventures Vietnam Golden Gate Ventures from Singapore. It is expected that as Vietnamese start-ups gain increased visibility and begin to create long-term substantial revenue that other funds will come into the market in the future.