500 Startupsis starting a $10M fund to pump money into 100 to 150 Vietnamese startups, a sign that some foreign investors hold optimistic view in this communist country’s technology.
500 Startups, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm founded by Dave McClure backs more of the country’s technology startups.
“I’ve been watching the tech scene here since 2010, and back then it was way too early to invest”, said Eddie Thai, a 500 Startups venture partner, at an event to launch the fund in Ho Chi Minh City.
The human capital is an important boost for the growing country. Approximately 41% of the country’s more than 94 million people are below the age of 24, according to CIA World Factbook data. In addition, Smartphone ownership is growing quickly in Vietnam, and 55% of adults in the country now use the devices. These facts indicate that there is a huge potential for companies in internet or other technologies to tap into a growing base of users.
The venture capital firm targets on investments including financial technology, business-to-business firms. There are moves from other venture capital firms as well such as the country’s own IDG Ventures Vietnam and Singapore’s Southeast Asia-focused Golden Gate Ventures.
There are a lot of the main ingredients making the growing country attractive. For instance, the country is full of low-cost, high-tech talent engineers and coders who are capable of building and developing software as well as their counterparts in Silicon Valley.
What adds more value to the promising country is Vietnamese immigrants. Many from Silicon Valley, are returning to invest in companies taking advantage of the country’s large population of young people and the talent’s ability to produce products for markets not only in Vietnam but also in other countries, such as the U.S.