500VN Jan 2017 Newsletter

Happy new year! Those who are familiar with Vietnam know that business slows down in late December and stays slow through the lunar new year (Tết).  But our teams have not.  Premium online retail outlet Leflair finished raising a ~$1M round led by a HK-based growth equity fund, just ~6 months after 500 Startups came in. Another startup has raised next-round capital from Korean investors.  And O2O interior designer and furnisher Mitssy hit breakeven, having tripled revenue from one year ago while maintaining gross margins at ~30%.

It’s because of that hustle that we believe a good number of our startups will not only survive but should be a more visible part of Vietnam’s future economic growth. Vietnam’s economy grew 6.2% in 2016 and is expected to grow another >6% in 2017. We aim to help the startup ecosystem capitalize on this growth.

Take a look below for some recaps of 2016 and hints for what’s ahead.

Regards,
Team 500 Startups Vietnam

Vietnam In The News

  • Vietnam defies Asia slowdown as economic growth holds above 6%.  GDP expanded 6.68% in 4Q2016 year-over-year, and 6.21% for 2016 overall, among the fastest in the world.  “Vietnam is in a sweet spot right now,” said Frederic Newmann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC. “Strong growth will persist in the next several years.” Bloomberg. 12/28
  • Private equity funds saw some major Vietnam exits in 2016.  Mekong Capital sold off its stakes in FPT (tech), Nam Long (property developer), Intresco (property developer), and Phu Nhuan Jewelry.  KKR exited from Masan Consumer.  VinaCapital exited from DHG.  DealStreetAsia. 1/1
  • Vietnam Airlines successfully IPO’d on January 3, 2017, surging 40% on the first day to a $2.1B market cap.  VNExpress. 1/4
  • Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, shares his observations on Vietnam’s transformation.  “This up-and-coming market hasn’t fully embraced capitalism—it remains a Communist state—but it has managed to achieve an interesting balance. […] Nevertheless, I believe Vietnam remains an attractive destination for both investors and tourists, and we think its future looks bright.”  Personal blog post. 1/5

500 Startups Vietnam in the News

  • Three members of the 500 Startups Vietnam family, Binh Tran, Hao Tran, and Don Phan are featured in an article about Overseas Vietnamese returning to Vietnam. Bloomberg. 12/7
  • Eddie and Binh discuss Vietnam’s key differentiating factors compared with other countries in the region. DealStreetAsia. 12/12

Upcoming Events

  • Batch 19 Demo Day, 2/15, Computer History Museum
    A one-day event for active & accredited investors to check out our hottest accelerator & Series A portfolio companies.
    Tickets are now available for purchase
  • EdTech Asia HCMC, 1/18, HCMC
    Come network with the Vietnamese edtech community as entrepreneurs, educators, developers, designers, academics and other stakeholders network to discuss the future of education. Details here.
  • Digital Trends – 2016 Look Back & 2017 Forecast, 1/14, HCMC
    Come learn about the digital marketing landscape and trends in social media, influencer/advocacy marketing, mobile apps and much more! Book your ticket here.
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