Silicon Valley Accelerator 500 Startups Allocated $10 Million Fund for Vietnam Startups

By Staff Writer

Mar 10, 2016 12:13 AM EST

Silicon Valley's venture capital seed fund and accelerator, 500 Startups, announced it's move to start funding in Vietnam. Considering the country as one of the most promising on Asia's fast-growing startup climate, 500 Startups has decided to allocate a $10 million fund for Vietnam startups.

500 Startups partners Binh Tran and Eddie Thai will be leading the fund dedicated to Vietnam. This was the firm's first initiative to allocate funds for the country. However, 500 Startups has been funding in other Asian countries over the past year. According to TechCrunch, the firm has introduced $30 million of funds in Japan, $15 million in Korea, $25 million in India, and $12 million in Thailand.

VentureBeat reported that 500 Startups plans to fund 100 to 150 companies that have some connection to Vietnam with the $10 million fund. Each startup will gain checks ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. 500 Startups Vietnam is the latest regional investment tool that the firm has set up in the past year.

Even though the series of fund is 500 Startups's first to be devoted to Vietnam, the accelerator has invested in a few Vietnamese startups before. 500 Startups has previously funded beauty startup Ipsy, social photography app Lightbox, social intelligence platform DataRank, ticketing platform TicketBox, language learning app ELSA, and social networking app Tappy.

Vietnam has been selected to receive the investment program because of its potential. It has a promising demographic, with 90 million of total population, where more than half of whom are aged under 30. Another report also mentioned that 41 percent of the country's people are below the age of 24. The Wall Street Journal noted that 55 percent of adults in the country use smartphones.

In addition to the facts that makes Vietnam promising, 500 Startups partner Eddie Thai also told TechCrunch about the advantage of the timing. "The timing is right. Ten years ago when VCs first came here there were around four million internet users, now there are around 40 million. There really is potential to grow connectivity, income and spending," he said.

"We really want to bring this to the next level, and make the country's startup scene more efficient, professional and founder friendly - and ultimately build companies that can exit," Thai added, underlining the program's goal. 500 Startups is now managing $240 million of assets in 1,500 companies in more than 50 countries, after closing its third round of global fund with $85 million. The firm is now looking to raise $200 million for its fourth global fund.

Vietnam will be the next Asian country to receive an investment fund from Silicon Valley's 500 Startups. With $10 million, the firm is seeking to improve the country's potential and helping startups from the country. 

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