Over US$800 Million pledged by investors in the region at Vietnam Venture Summit, which drew 2000 candidates and 500 international investors

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The Vietnam Venture Summit 2020, as part of The Vietnam Tech and Startup Week, wrapped up with an over US$800 million pledge by an alliance of Venture Capital firms to support Vietnam’s startup ecosystem over the next three to five years. Amidst the obstacles of COVID-19, the commitment is backed by 33 Venture Capital firms spanning Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam (full list of firms can be found in the Appendix).

Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, Vu Duc Dam giving his speech at Vietnam Venture Summit 2020

We’ve been invested in venture capital in Vietnam since 2011 but now, more than ever before, we’re really excited about the opportunities we’re seeing here. While talent used to be a bottleneck in Vietnam, we are seeing extraordinary best practices being adopted from around the world here.

The Vietnam Venture Summit 2020, as part of The Vietnam Tech and Startup Week, wrapped up with an over US$800 million pledge by an alliance of Venture Capital firms to support Vietnam’s startup ecosystem over the next three to five years. Amidst the obstacles of COVID-19, the commitment is backed by 33 Venture Capital firms spanning Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam (full list of firms can be found in the Appendix).

According to an industry report by Do Ventures, 2019 was the most favourable year ever for Vietnamese tech startups with US$861M (92% y-o-y growth) invested in 123 venture deals, more than double the number of 2018. The main driver for bigger cheques was later-stage companies such as Tiki, VNPay, and Sendo.

In pandemic-battered 2020, however, investment proceeds in the first half of the year has decreased by 22%, from US$284M in the same period last year to US$222M - due to travel restrictions and uncertainties in global financial markets. So, taking into account the projected amount of investment in 2020, the addition of this over US$800 million pledge should match up with heyday levels of investment in 2019 and before.

About the Summit

The Summit, which took a hybrid offline and online event format due to COVID-19 travel restrictions was key-noted by two Vietnamese ministers: Nguyen Chi Dung (Minister, MPI), Vu Duc Dam (Deputy Prime Minister) and Partner of Golden Gate Ventures, Vinnie Lauria.
Hosted in Hanoi’s National Convention Center, 1,000 in-person delegates were joined by 1,000 guests listening in virtually across the globe.
Delegates included leaders from several Vietnam ministries, global technology firms such as Paypal and Google, and industry veterans from well-known Vietnamese startups such as VNG, Grab, MoMo, GoJek, VNPay, Tiki and Sendo. Representatives of major investment funds such as Golden Gate Ventures, Softbank Ventures, Sequoia Capital, B Capital, Qiming Ventures and ADB Ventures also took to the stage virtually as panelists at the Summit.

Investing in Vietnam: The time is now
This Summit comes on the heels of the US-China trade war as Vietnam sees a shift of manufacturing and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country. With US$100B in electronic goods exported yearly and a GDP growth rate of 7%/year for the past decade, Vietnam is poised to take advantage of manufacturing firms moving south. It is a key manufacturer for some of the greatest phone producers, such as Google, Samsung and LG. Recently, the Chinese acoustics manufacturer Goertek, announced that its production of Apple’s Airpods wireless headphones will move to Vietnam, as a result of the trade war. A new report by McKinsey & Company finds that Vietnam could capture 2,400 trillion Vietnamese đồng or US$100 billion by 2025 through the formation of 12 large digital ecosystems across retail and institutional services.
Ed Grefenstette, CIO at Dietrich Foundation, remarked on it being a perfect time to lean into Vietnam, “We’ve been invested in venture capital in Vietnam since 2011 but now, more than ever before, we’re really excited about the opportunities we’re seeing here. We look towards past experiences in China to draw parallels and access opportunities in Southeast Asia. While talent used to be a bottleneck in Vietnam, we are seeing extraordinary best practices being adopted from around the world here.”

Vietnam, with its strong pipeline of tech talent, fostered by years of education and retraining by the government, is perfectly placed in the shift in talent demand.
Peter Pham, Co-founder and Partner of Science, was born in a Vietnamese refugee camp in the U.S and has been wanting to have a connection back with tech. He recognised in the same vein that, “The way to get a new market going can be done via attaching a venture fund to a startup studio - where a strong transfer of that knowledge base of know-how can be done to nurture these up-and-coming startups. The Science studio incubated the first $1B exit in Los Angeles (Dollar Shave Club) which proved that a unicorn can be built outside of the valley. LPs should see that Vietnam has the same potential.”

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About the Vietnam Venture Summit
In the spirit of entrepreneurship, the Vietnam Venture Summit is an annual event co-organized by Golden Gate Ventures and the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam. Involving top-tier founders, active VCs, government officials, and global investors, the summit aims to bridge the Vietnamese startup scene with a global investor audience and create a dialogue between Vietnamese founders and the rest of the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia.
http://www.vietnamventuresummit.com/

About the Ministry of Planning and Investment
The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) provides, among others, strategic advice for country-level socio-economic development. It also programs and plans economic management mechanisms and policies for the national economy, for specific sectors as well as for domestic and foreign investments.

About Golden Gate Ventures
Golden Gate Ventures is a VC fund in Southeast Asia (SEA) founded by Silicon Valley natives. Since 2011, Golden Gate Ventures has launched four funds and invested in 50+ companies. The firm focuses on investing in the rising consumer internet class in Southeast Asia. Breakout companies include Carousell (mobile classifieds), Appota (Vietnam mobile publishing platform), Alodokter (HealthTech), Carro (Auto Marketplace), and Xendit (Payment Processing).
http://goldengate.vc
Appendix

VinaCapital Ventures
Do Ventures
Nextrans
ThinkZone
Next 100 NextTech
VietCapital Ventures
CyberAgent Ventures
Smilegate Investment
FEBE Ventures
Genesia Ventures
Monk’s Hill Ventures
Vertex Holdings
500 Startups
Quest Ventures - Vietnam Global Innovation
YellowDog
VIC Partners
Vietnam Investment Group
Golden Gate Ventures
Access Ventures
AlphaJWC Ventures
Burda Principal Investments
Integra Partners
Beenext Ventures
Insignia Ventures
Jungle Ventures
KK Fund
LINE Ventures Global LLP
Lotte Accelerator
Incubate Fund
NCORE Ventures
Patamar Capital
Global Brain
Eunsan Investor
Antler
Cocoon Capital
Woowa Brothers Korea
Fuchsia Venture Capital

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Winnie Wang
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