Vietnam’s start-up landscape attractive to Korean investors27/11/2019 76
A series of seminars and business-to-business matching events were held in Seoul and Busan port cities, the Republic of Korea (RoK) during November, within the framework of the Techfest Vietnam 2019.
The events afforded both sides chances to learn more about start-up ecological system of each other.
According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, Vietnam, with a population of over 96 million, is an attractive market for Korean investors. As of November 2018, the RoK was the largest foreign investor in Vietnam.
Economists said the RoK will further boost investment in Vietnam in coming years, including in apparel, leather and footwear, which will bring many opportunities to Vietnamese start-ups.
The Vietnam Tech Investment Report by ESP Capital and Cento Ventures showed that Vietnam’s start-up ecological system has rising to the top three best among six surveyed ASEAN member states, behind only Indonesia and Singapore. The report also noted that investment from the RoK accounted for the largest portion out of a combined 246 million USD poured into Vietnamese start-ups in the first half of this year.
Since setting its eyes on Vietnam a decade ago, the RoK’s well-known venture fund NexTrans has poured tens of millions USD into 10 Vietnamese start-ups, notably Luxstay, JamJa, EcoTruck, Leflair, among others.
Eddy Hong, NexTrans Executive Director, lauded Vietnam as one of the most vibrant start-up ecological systems in Southeast Asia.
Another Korean venture fund STIC Ventures has also invested in Tiki, Cammsys Vietnam, Nanogen, among others.
The RoK’s National IT Industry Promotion Agency, the Korea IT Cooperation Centre (KICC), and Vietnam’s Business Support Centre signed a memorandum of understanding to support Vietnamese start-up community.
In late April, the Vietnam Internet Association and the KICC launched the K-Startup Grand Challenge, an annual contest with an aim to build an open ecological system that will help start-ups expand their markets in Asia by using the RoK as a buffer.
Representatives from a number of Korean investment funds also said they will keep expanding their portfolios in Vietnam./.
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