[Slide] Million dollar investments in Vietnamese startups in 2016

Even as the majority of Vietnamese startups are at a very early stage, there are outstanding players in terms of attracting investors of Series A onward.

Most of the funding rounds known in 2016 were angel to seed investments, which ranged at several hundred-thousands of dollars. Here is the list for 7-to-8 digit funding rounds recorded last year.

Toong - 7-digit

Vietnam’s first co-working space chain Toong said in March 2016 it had raised a 7-digit series A investment, from OpenAsia, a Hanoi-based investment firm. Toong is launching its fifth co-working outlet in Ho Chi Minh City in partnership with CapitaLand Vietnam.

MoMo - $28 million

The $28 million private equity investment into e-wallet MoMo was a landmark deal for the Vietnamese startup ecosystem. In March 2016, Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs, as a returned backer, funded the round.

GotIt! - $9 million

GotIt! was founded by overseas Vietnamese Hung Tran as an edtech startup connecting learners and tutors. It bagged over $9 million in series A funding led by Capricorn Investment and eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll. The US-based company has a backend team in Vietnam and has become an inspiration for this burgeoning startup community.

Tiki - $17 million

Even as e-commerce is a hard game to play in Vietnam, Tiki secured a large round of some $17 million from Southeast Asia’s oldest unicorn, Vietnam-based Internet firm VNG. VNG holds 38% of Tiki after the deal. The e-commerce firm is valued at $45 million upon completion of this investment.

Top Mot - $1 million

Top Mot, another e-commerce startup, raised $1 million investment in 2016. It is a flash sales platform which sells fashion and beauty products from both local and international brands in five-day deals. Top Mot’s CEO, Erik Jonsson, used to serve as CEO of Zalora Vietnam and deputy CEO of VinEcom.

Everest Education - $1 million

Founded by overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs, this young education company is not pure tech, but is leveraging technology to boost its operations in teaching English, math, test preparation, computer programming and STEAM camps. The $1 million early stage investment has been facilitating its goal of providing customized lectures. Tony Ngo, a co-founder of Everest Education, is also co-founder of Top Mot. 

VNTRIP - $3 million

The OTA platform announced in July 2016 to have received $3 million in funding from a group of investors led by John Wu, Alibaba’s former CTO. This investment round ranks among the largest series A rounds into Vietnamese startups.

VNPT ePay - $38 million

A South Korean investment firm called UTC Investment, reported to be an arm of Daesang Corp, acquired 62.25% of VNPT Epay from VMG Media. The investment cost was rumored to amount to $38 million, while there was also speculation that Alipay was behind the deal. The book value of the stake VMG transferred to UTC is worth around $3.3 million.

Leflair - $1 million

Leflair, an e-commerce startup offering branded fashion and beauty products, last year received $1 million pre-series A investment from its existing investor 500 Startups, along with Hong Kong-based Caldera Pacific Ventures, Italian VC firm AME Ventures and Korea's Nextrans. This round followed the $750 million seed funding led by 500 Startups in the year. I broke the news about the pre-series A financing on DEALSTREETASIA on 17 Jan 2017. 

Tima - 7-digit

Tima, one of very few Vietnamese P2P lending players, said it had closed a 7-digit series A funding from a Singapore fund. The founders of Tima are also involved in several other fintech and financial service startups.

Ticketbox - 7-digit

Ticketing platform Ticketbox, a 500 Startups portfolio startup, closed its series A round in 2016 from Susquehanna International. 500 Startups also participated as a return backer. The investment was undisclosed, but it was understood to be a 7-digit figure.

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