Our first exit captured in a photo — WifiChua shaking hands with acquirer Appota. Photo source: ictnews.

As we head into Saigon’s hot-dry season, the tech scene here is heating up too:

  • Amazon and Spotify announced their Vietnam market entry
  • It was reported that Grab would acquire Uber’s Southeast Asia operations
  • Binh and Eddie’s first investment for 500 Startups Vietnam — ELSA — closed a $3.2M pre-A round led by Monk’s Hill Ventures.
  • 500 Startups Vietnam saw our first exit, an acquisition of portfolio company WifiChua by Vietnamese mobile platform Appota

(Learn more via news articles listed below)

This is on the heels of a report released by Hanoi-based accelerator Topica Founder Institute that showed an 80% increase in startup deal activity in 2017 vs. 2016.  The report also lists 500 Startups Vietnam as the most active VC investor in Vietnam (not including accelerators), with 11 deals in 2017.  Looks like we picked a good time to be here!

That’s all we’ll say for now — there’s too much to do ~

Team 500 Startups Vietnam

Vietnam in the News


  • The World in 2050. Vietnam economy is projected to move up to #20 in the global rank by 2050. PwC. 02/2017
  • Asia-Pacific nations sign sweeping trade deal without US. “The CPTPP will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy.” VnExpress. 03/09
  • Vietnam snatches back Asia’s equity crown as foreigners buy.Vietnamese stock market has attracted investor appetite with the country’s positive economic outlook despite recent turbulence in global financial markets. Bloomberg. 02/28
  • Monthly salaries in Vietnam rise fastest in Southeast Asia: survey.The annual growth rate of Vietnam’s payroll is estimated at 20-24% as recruitment demand remains high. VnExpress. 12/14
  • Understanding Vietnam’s generation Z. “They are entering the workforce for the first time and exist in a world where the line between the physical and the digital is blurry at best.” Forbes. 02/03

Vietnam Tech in the News


  • Vietnam startup investment rises 42%. In 2017, $291M was invested into 92 startups in the country, with e-commerce leading the scene, accounting for more than 20% of deals done. VietnamNews. 03/03
  • It’s official: Amazon will be in Vietnam this year. Amazon will share the details of its plan for expansion in Vietnam and insights of Vietnam’s online commerce landscape at a major tech conference this month. Saigoneer. 03/07
  • Spotify is launching in Vietnam in 3 days. The world’s biggest music streaming service announced the big news on their official Facebook page with the hashtag #spotifyvietnam. Saigoneer. 03/10
  • Grab Close to Deal for Uber’s Southeast Asia Business. Is the war between the two major ride-hailing service in the region finally coming to an end? Bloomberg. 03/08
  • Blockchain technology to see bright future in Vietnam. “The very first Vietnam Blockchain Week has attracted 2,000 attendees and experts who were excited to discuss the future of this breakthrough technology in Vietnam.” Vietnam Investment Review. 03/09
  • More Vietnamese shift to online shopping ahead of Tet. With the local e-commerce market growing at 25% last year, holiday shopping is taken to a new level. VnExpress. 02/14

500 Startups Vietnam in the News


  • 500 Startups’ Investor Trek highlights Vietnam’s robust tech scene.The four-day trek took place in Hanoi and Saigon, where international investors learned about the country’s background, investment opportunities, and challenges and met many of Vietnam’s most promising startup founders and ecosystem leaders. Saigoneer. 01/31
  • ELSA raises $3.2M for its A.I.-powered English pronunciation assistant. “Since its launch two years ago, ELSA has been adopted by a few million users in over 100 countries, with around half its user base in Southeast Asia, and the rest spread out elsewhere in the world, including in Latin America and Eastern Europe.” TechCrunch. 03/06
  • Vietnam’s Appota acquires tool for sharing free passwords WifiChua. WiFi Chùa, the biggest wifi sharing and look-up mobile app in Vietnam, has always stood in the top 100s of all mobile app ranking, having 18 million users with 2.4 million access points throughout Vietnam and globally. DealStreetAsia. 03/08
  • Hiip is featured on Vietnam National Television (VTV) as a rising startup in the country. Learn how Hiip became the leading automated social influencer marketing platform in Vietnam, working with major international and local brands such as Unilever, Heineken, Shiseido, Oreo, and The Coffee House. VTV. 03/09


Upcoming Events


Vietnam Online Business Forum 2018, 03/14 (Hanoi) & 03/16 (HCMC)
VOBF 2018, organized by the Vietnam E-Commerce Association, will gather major e-commerce players and enablers in and outside of Vietnam to discuss the latest industry trends. Event Page


Droidcon Vietnam 2018, 04/07, HCMC
“Droidcon is a global developer conference series and a network focusing on the best of Android, and in 2017 it will be coming to Vietnam.” Event Page


Forbes Vietnam Under 30 Summit, 04/24, HCMC
Meet some of the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in the country featured in Forbes’ latest 30 Under 30 list. Event Page

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