Anh-Minh Do from Tech In Asia joined us for a discussion on all things start-up and venture capital in Vietnam. We discussed the current local major players within the ecosystem, the top three venture firms and the important people who you must get to know in Vietnam. We also discussed the most interesting startups that are emerging and the interesting connection between Vietnam and Silicon Valley. Last but not least, we dug deep into why the Vietnamese startups are still experiencing a valuation gap below US$300M.

Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):

  • Anh-Minh Do, Senior Editor and Head of Insights & Community, Tech In Asia (@hellominhdo, LinkedIn, personal site)
    • How did he start in technology? [0:48]
    • A short discussion of his projects: Startup.vn, Starthub.vn (acquired) and Startup Hub for Investment, Education & Leadership Development aka SHIELD. We also know Minh is a DC and Marvel fan boy. [1:57]
    • As the editor and head of insights & community in Tech in Asia, and what’s his role and responsibilities? [4:55]
  • Vietnam startup ecosystem in 2015 [7:14]
    • Total Population: 90.7M, 39.8M Internet Users, 28M Active social accounts, 128M mobile connections, 24.8M mobile social accounts.
    • Vietnam’s general statistics: 44% Internet penetration, 37% mobile internet penetration, 24% Ecommerce activity (based on We Are Social Deck), and check Tech in Asia’s coverage in Vietnam
    • What are the challenges of the Vietnamese startup ecosystem? (Ref: Is Vietnam’s startup ecosystem facing a crisis?) [7:49]
    • What are the interesting startup companies and established technology companies in Vietnam? VNG, VC core, FPT, MobileWorld, Vatgia (CEO interview) [11:25]
    • Are there any areas of interest that are thriving in Vietnam and examples of companies in that space: [14:22]
    • Does Vietnam has a centralised startup ecosystem location which people can identify, for example, Blk 71 or Gangnam? [25:00]
    • Are all the activity centered in Ho Chi Minh city or other parts of Vietnam such as Da Nang or Hanoi? [26:21]
    • How are companies like Google, Facebook and Apple doing in Vietnam? Is Vietnam an Android nation? [28:03]
    • Who are the people that you need to know in Vietnam? The beginnings of the community to engage with the government. [30:02] 
    • The special connection of Vietnam with Silicon Valley. [31:30] 
  • Vietnam Venture Capital ecosystem [33:39]
    • Who are the investors? Any notable angels or venture capital firms (for example, IDG Ventures, DFJ Vina Capital and Cyberagent Ventures)? How do they invest? 
    • Are there any accelerators or early stage investors of note which we need to know?
  • Vietnam’s valuation gap: Is localisation the reason why we have not seen companies > US$300M valuation in Vietnam? [37:20]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace(Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi).

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