The 27 Vietnam startups that have grabbed our attention this year

Earlier this year, a report released by early-stage VC firm Do Ventures and the Vietnam National Innovation Center (NIC) revealed the state of startup investment in the country during the pandemic.

The report showed that the number of early-stage deals of less than US$500,000 rose 11 per cent in 2020 amidst the crisis. The deal size and number rose in H2 2020.

As we entered 2021, it became clear that the pandemic could do nothing to prevent the local startup ecosystem from thriving as companies continue to grow and investors keep on investing in the market despite challenges.

Just as we have done with the startup ecosystem in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, this time, we are listing down 27 Vietnam-based startups that have made headlines in 2021.

Below are the 27 startups that are making waves in Vietnam:

1. Bizzi

Bizzi, an AI-powered invoice processing automation solution, announced in October that it raised US$3 million in a pre-Series A round led by Money Forward, a fintech company headquartered in Japan. Other investors include Do Ventures and existing investor Qualgro.

With this new investment, the company plans to improve product features and functionality and expand to other Southeast Asian markets.

Also Read: A women-centric dating app developed by an ex-diplomat seeks to end Tinder’s dominance in Vietnam

2. Sky Mavis

Sky Mavis, the firm behind the popular NFT-based game Axie Infinity, announced a US$152 million Series B financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Accel Partners and Paradigm also joined this round.

The Vietnamese startup will use the money to build a global team, scale infrastructure, and build its distribution platform to support game developers in creating blockchain-enabled games.

3. Dutycast

Dutycast, the company behind the browser extension that helps consumers buy online globally with ease, scored undisclosed funding from Vietnam-based VinaCapital Ventures in January.

Founded in 2020, Dutycast aims to improve the cross-border e-commerce experience for shoppers by providing transparency and security around final prices, duties, taxes, and related logistics expenses.

4. Mobicast

Masan Group subsidiary The Sherpa Company acquired a 70 per cent stake in local mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Mobicast for VN295.5 billion (US$12.96 million) in September.

Under the new transaction, Mobicast, operating under the brand Reddi, will gain exclusive access to the group’s consumer base and physical and online contact points across the country.

5. Clevai

After-school tutoring platform for K-12 students Clevai secured US$2.1 million in a pre-Series A financing round led by Singapore-based Altara Ventures in September. Existing backers, including Vietnam- and SEA-focused VC FEBE Ventures and New York-based marketplace investment firm FJ Labs also joined.

Clevai will use the funds to strengthen Clevai’s live-streaming infrastructure and improve personalised learning capabilities.

Also Read: How gamification is supercharging Vietnam tech startups’ growth potential

6. CoderSchool

Online coding courses CoderSchool secured US$2.6 million in pre-Series A funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures in September.

The funding will be used to create more educational content and tech infrastructure for the school’s technical education programmes. It also plans to hire an additional 35 instructional staffers by Q4 2022 to support online operations.

7. GlobalCare

Insurtech provider GlobalCare received an undisclosed amount of funding from VinaCapital Ventures in September.

Launched in 2017 by Niem Thi Ngoc Dinh and Loi Minh Hang, the platform allows insurance companies and agents to sell policies via a cloud-based and on-premises app. It aims to enable end-to-end service management.

8. KiotViet

KiotViet secured US$45 million in a Series B funding round led by global investment firm KKR in September. Jungle Ventures, Kasikorn Bank, and Vietnamese family investment holding company Cao Viet My also co-invested.

KiotViet intends to recruit international talent to support new businesses and expand to global markets.

9. Vietcetera

Digital media network Vietcetera secured US$2.7 million over two successive rounds led by media-focused VC firm North Base Media in August. Gojek’s corporate VC firm Go-Ventures, East Ventures, Summit Media, Genesia Ventures, Hustle Fund, and Z Venture Capital, besides several Singaporean and Vietnamese family offices also participated.

The firm also plans to launch new shows and podcasts with underserved topics targeting the country’s emerging middle class.

10. Medici

Healthtech company Medici secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by early-stage investor Insignia Ventures in August.

The startup aims to foray into the insurance industry. It allows Medici to act as a middleman between insurance firms and the general public, which will receive suggestions and guidance from the broker to make the right financial decisions.

Also Read: Challenges of AI development in Vietnam: Funding, talent and ethics

11. Vuihoc

In August, Do Ventures announced an investment in the education platform VUIHOC. The startup plans to utilise the funds to strengthen its technical capacity, upgrade product features, and improve the quality of learning materials.

VUIHOC currently offers more than 150 courses, nearly 9,000 video lectures, and a repository of 240,000 quiz questions.

12. Rever

Rever is a tech-enabled real estate brokerage platform. In August, it announced a US$10.2 million funding round from Mekong Enterprise Fund IV (MEF IV), bringing its total funding to US$16.5 million.

The company will use the fresh investment to grow its management team, strengthen corporate culture, and accelerate the development of technology features.

13. VNG

Vietnamese internet giant VNG Corporation is considering going public in the US via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) at a US$2 to US$3 billion valuation, Bloomberg reported in August.

The technology giant is working with financial advisers and is holding talks with several SPACs for a potential merger.

14. Loship

One-hour e-commerce delivery startup Loship secured US$12 million in a pre-Series C round of equity financing co-led by BAce Capital and the direct investment unit of Sun Hung Kai & Co., a Hong Kong-listed leading alternative investment company in August.

The round comes close on the heels of Loship’s undisclosed bridge funding round led by MetaPlanet in February 2021.

15. VNLIFE

VNLIFE Corporation, which owns fintech unicorn VNPay, has bagged over US$250 million in its latest Series B round led by General Atlantic and Dragoneer.

For the investors involved in this funding round, this investment marks their maiden investment in Vietnam.

Also Read: Thai e-commerce fulfilment firm MyCloudFulfillment raises US$7.4M Series B to expand to Vietnam, Philippines

16. Kamereo

Kamereo offers an online platform for F&B companies to optimise their sourcing and purchasing processes. The company received US$4.6 million in a Series A round of funding, co-led by conglomerate CPF Group, Quest Ventures, and Genesia Ventures.

The startup will use the funds to expand its team and operations into Hanoi next year and build a new warehouse management system to optimise daily operations.

17. MoMo

Payments app MoMo acquired local startup Pique for undisclosed details in June. With this deal, MoMo plans to capitalise on Pique’s 25 million user database to improve its product offerings.

18. Infina

Investment app Infina, which aims to become the Robinhood of Vietnam, announced a US$2 million oversubscribed seed funding round from several investors. With the new funding, Infina aims to fuel its growth and expand its product offerings.

19. HANET

HANET, a startup offering AI-powered surveillance cameras in Vietnam, received an undisclosed amount of investment from G-Group Technology Corporation at a US$5 million valuation in June.

The startup will use the funds to take its business into global markets, said a press statement.

20. SAMO Holding

SAMO Holding, the company behind the financial comparison platform thebank.vn, secured US$5 million in a Series A round led by UOB Venture Management, the investment arm of Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB), in October.

With this new funding, the firm aims to broaden its agent network and offer more extensive financial products covering loans, wealth management, and insurance.

Also Read: eJOY snags seed round led by ThinkZone to enable English learning via Youtube, Netflix in Vietnam

21. Nano Technologies

Nano Technologies (Nano), a fintech startup that allows workers to access their wages immediately, raised US$3 million in seed capital in May. Existing investors Golden Gate Ventures and Venturra Discovery led the round with participation from new investors FEBE Ventures, Openspace Ventures, and Goodwater Capital.

22. POPS Worldwide

Digital entertainment company POPS Worldwide is planning to raise US$50 million in Series D by the end of 2021. The funds to be raised will be used for expansion across Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, and deepening its footprint in Indonesia.

Since its inception, POPS has established a foothold in key markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, thus becoming one of the region’s largest digital entertainment industry players.

23. Base.vn

FPT acquired a majority stake in local SaaS company Base.vn for an undisclosed sum in May. As per a press note, this cooperation will enable the two sides to promote the comprehensive digital transformation ecosystem for 800,000 enterprises.

Founded in 2016 by Stanford University alumnus Hung, Base.vn has developed over 20 apps covering two verticals: HR and productivity.

24. POC Pharma

Pharmacy Online Concierge (POC) secured US$4.5 million in an equity financing round in April.

Established in 2020 by Thomas Miklavec and Charles Defrance, POC helps the stakeholders in the pharmacy field (pharmacies, drug manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, payers) to digitally manage their interactions and collaborative workflows.

Also Read: Vietnam’s stock trading app Anfin nets US$510K from early investor of Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack

25. Homebase

In March, Homebase became the first Vietnamese startup to get accepted into Y Combinator. This came off the company’s funding announcement from Troy Steckenrider III (COO of Zerodown), Darius Cheung (founder of 99.co), VinaCapital Ventures, Class 5 Global (Silicon Valley-based venture fund), Pegasus Technology Ventures, 1982 Ventures, and Antler.

26. ELSA

ELSA, a mobile app that uses AI and speech recognition technology to help language learners improve their English speaking skills and pronunciation, secured US$15 million in Series B funding in January, co-led by Vietnam Investments Group and SIG.

This new funding will go towards R&D to further develop its voice recognition AI, build a scalable B2B platform and hire new talent.

27. Sipher

In October, blockchain-powered gaming studio Sipher completed its US$6.8 million seed round of financing, co-led by Arrington Capital, Hashed and Konvoy Ventures.

Founded by prominent entrepreneur Nguyen Trung Tin, Sipher aims to unify blockchain tech, artwork, storytelling, multiplayer gaming with decentralised financial technologies.

Ready to meet new startups to invest in? We have more than hundreds of startups ready to connect with potential investors on our platform. Create or claim your Investor profile today and turn on e27 Connect to receive requests and fundraising information from them.

Image Credit: ferli

The post The 27 Vietnam startups that have grabbed our attention this year appeared first on e27.

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Earlier this year, a report released by early-stage VC firm Do Ventures and the Vietnam National Innovation Center (NIC) revealed the state of startup investment in the country during the pandemic.

The report showed that the number of early-stage deals of less than US$500,000 rose 11 per cent in 2020 amidst the crisis. The deal size and number rose in H2 2020.

As we entered 2021, it became clear that the pandemic could do nothing to prevent the local startup ecosystem from thriving as companies continue to grow and investors keep on investing in the market despite challenges.

Just as we have done with the startup ecosystem in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, this time, we are listing down 27 Vietnam-based startups that have made headlines in 2021.

Below are the 27 startups that are making waves in Vietnam:

1. Bizzi

Bizzi, an AI-powered invoice processing automation solution, announced in October that it raised US$3 million in a pre-Series A round led by Money Forward, a fintech company headquartered in Japan. Other investors include Do Ventures and existing investor Qualgro.

With this new investment, the company plans to improve product features and functionality and expand to other Southeast Asian markets.

Also Read: A women-centric dating app developed by an ex-diplomat seeks to end Tinder’s dominance in Vietnam

2. Sky Mavis

Sky Mavis, the firm behind the popular NFT-based game Axie Infinity, announced a US$152 million Series B financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Accel Partners and Paradigm also joined this round.

The Vietnamese startup will use the money to build a global team, scale infrastructure, and build its distribution platform to support game developers in creating blockchain-enabled games.

3. Dutycast

Dutycast, the company behind the browser extension that helps consumers buy online globally with ease, scored undisclosed funding from Vietnam-based VinaCapital Ventures in January.

Founded in 2020, Dutycast aims to improve the cross-border e-commerce experience for shoppers by providing transparency and security around final prices, duties, taxes, and related logistics expenses.

4. Mobicast

Masan Group subsidiary The Sherpa Company acquired a 70 per cent stake in local mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Mobicast for VN295.5 billion (US$12.96 million) in September.

Under the new transaction, Mobicast, operating under the brand Reddi, will gain exclusive access to the group’s consumer base and physical and online contact points across the country.

5. Clevai

After-school tutoring platform for K-12 students Clevai secured US$2.1 million in a pre-Series A financing round led by Singapore-based Altara Ventures in September. Existing backers, including Vietnam- and SEA-focused VC FEBE Ventures and New York-based marketplace investment firm FJ Labs also joined.

Clevai will use the funds to strengthen Clevai’s live-streaming infrastructure and improve personalised learning capabilities.

Also Read: How gamification is supercharging Vietnam tech startups’ growth potential

6. CoderSchool

Online coding courses CoderSchool secured US$2.6 million in pre-Series A funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures in September.

The funding will be used to create more educational content and tech infrastructure for the school’s technical education programmes. It also plans to hire an additional 35 instructional staffers by Q4 2022 to support online operations.

7. GlobalCare

Insurtech provider GlobalCare received an undisclosed amount of funding from VinaCapital Ventures in September.

Launched in 2017 by Niem Thi Ngoc Dinh and Loi Minh Hang, the platform allows insurance companies and agents to sell policies via a cloud-based and on-premises app. It aims to enable end-to-end service management.

8. KiotViet

KiotViet secured US$45 million in a Series B funding round led by global investment firm KKR in September. Jungle Ventures, Kasikorn Bank, and Vietnamese family investment holding company Cao Viet My also co-invested.

KiotViet intends to recruit international talent to support new businesses and expand to global markets.

9. Vietcetera

Digital media network Vietcetera secured US$2.7 million over two successive rounds led by media-focused VC firm North Base Media in August. Gojek’s corporate VC firm Go-Ventures, East Ventures, Summit Media, Genesia Ventures, Hustle Fund, and Z Venture Capital, besides several Singaporean and Vietnamese family offices also participated.

The firm also plans to launch new shows and podcasts with underserved topics targeting the country’s emerging middle class.

10. Medici

Healthtech company Medici secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by early-stage investor Insignia Ventures in August.

The startup aims to foray into the insurance industry. It allows Medici to act as a middleman between insurance firms and the general public, which will receive suggestions and guidance from the broker to make the right financial decisions.

Also Read: Challenges of AI development in Vietnam: Funding, talent and ethics

11. Vuihoc

In August, Do Ventures announced an investment in the education platform VUIHOC. The startup plans to utilise the funds to strengthen its technical capacity, upgrade product features, and improve the quality of learning materials.

VUIHOC currently offers more than 150 courses, nearly 9,000 video lectures, and a repository of 240,000 quiz questions.

12. Rever

Rever is a tech-enabled real estate brokerage platform. In August, it announced a US$10.2 million funding round from Mekong Enterprise Fund IV (MEF IV), bringing its total funding to US$16.5 million.

The company will use the fresh investment to grow its management team, strengthen corporate culture, and accelerate the development of technology features.

13. VNG

Vietnamese internet giant VNG Corporation is considering going public in the US via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) at a US$2 to US$3 billion valuation, Bloomberg reported in August.

The technology giant is working with financial advisers and is holding talks with several SPACs for a potential merger.

14. Loship

One-hour e-commerce delivery startup Loship secured US$12 million in a pre-Series C round of equity financing co-led by BAce Capital and the direct investment unit of Sun Hung Kai & Co., a Hong Kong-listed leading alternative investment company in August.

The round comes close on the heels of Loship’s undisclosed bridge funding round led by MetaPlanet in February 2021.

15. VNLIFE

VNLIFE Corporation, which owns fintech unicorn VNPay, has bagged over US$250 million in its latest Series B round led by General Atlantic and Dragoneer.

For the investors involved in this funding round, this investment marks their maiden investment in Vietnam.

Also Read: Thai e-commerce fulfilment firm MyCloudFulfillment raises US$7.4M Series B to expand to Vietnam, Philippines

16. Kamereo

Kamereo offers an online platform for F&B companies to optimise their sourcing and purchasing processes. The company received US$4.6 million in a Series A round of funding, co-led by conglomerate CPF Group, Quest Ventures, and Genesia Ventures.

The startup will use the funds to expand its team and operations into Hanoi next year and build a new warehouse management system to optimise daily operations.

17. MoMo

Payments app MoMo acquired local startup Pique for undisclosed details in June. With this deal, MoMo plans to capitalise on Pique’s 25 million user database to improve its product offerings.

18. Infina

Investment app Infina, which aims to become the Robinhood of Vietnam, announced a US$2 million oversubscribed seed funding round from several investors. With the new funding, Infina aims to fuel its growth and expand its product offerings.

19. HANET

HANET, a startup offering AI-powered surveillance cameras in Vietnam, received an undisclosed amount of investment from G-Group Technology Corporation at a US$5 million valuation in June.

The startup will use the funds to take its business into global markets, said a press statement.

20. SAMO Holding

SAMO Holding, the company behind the financial comparison platform thebank.vn, secured US$5 million in a Series A round led by UOB Venture Management, the investment arm of Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB), in October.

With this new funding, the firm aims to broaden its agent network and offer more extensive financial products covering loans, wealth management, and insurance.

Also Read: eJOY snags seed round led by ThinkZone to enable English learning via Youtube, Netflix in Vietnam

21. Nano Technologies

Nano Technologies (Nano), a fintech startup that allows workers to access their wages immediately, raised US$3 million in seed capital in May. Existing investors Golden Gate Ventures and Venturra Discovery led the round with participation from new investors FEBE Ventures, Openspace Ventures, and Goodwater Capital.

22. POPS Worldwide

Digital entertainment company POPS Worldwide is planning to raise US$50 million in Series D by the end of 2021. The funds to be raised will be used for expansion across Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, and deepening its footprint in Indonesia.

Since its inception, POPS has established a foothold in key markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, thus becoming one of the region’s largest digital entertainment industry players.

23. Base.vn

FPT acquired a majority stake in local SaaS company Base.vn for an undisclosed sum in May. As per a press note, this cooperation will enable the two sides to promote the comprehensive digital transformation ecosystem for 800,000 enterprises.

Founded in 2016 by Stanford University alumnus Hung, Base.vn has developed over 20 apps covering two verticals: HR and productivity.

24. POC Pharma

Pharmacy Online Concierge (POC) secured US$4.5 million in an equity financing round in April.

Established in 2020 by Thomas Miklavec and Charles Defrance, POC helps the stakeholders in the pharmacy field (pharmacies, drug manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, payers) to digitally manage their interactions and collaborative workflows.

Also Read: Vietnam’s stock trading app Anfin nets US$510K from early investor of Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack

25. Homebase

In March, Homebase became the first Vietnamese startup to get accepted into Y Combinator. This came off the company’s funding announcement from Troy Steckenrider III (COO of Zerodown), Darius Cheung (founder of 99.co), VinaCapital Ventures, Class 5 Global (Silicon Valley-based venture fund), Pegasus Technology Ventures, 1982 Ventures, and Antler.

26. ELSA

ELSA, a mobile app that uses AI and speech recognition technology to help language learners improve their English speaking skills and pronunciation, secured US$15 million in Series B funding in January, co-led by Vietnam Investments Group and SIG.

This new funding will go towards R&D to further develop its voice recognition AI, build a scalable B2B platform and hire new talent.

27. Sipher

In October, blockchain-powered gaming studio Sipher completed its US$6.8 million seed round of financing, co-led by Arrington Capital, Hashed and Konvoy Ventures.

Founded by prominent entrepreneur Nguyen Trung Tin, Sipher aims to unify blockchain tech, artwork, storytelling, multiplayer gaming with decentralised financial technologies.

Ready to meet new startups to invest in? We have more than hundreds of startups ready to connect with potential investors on our platform. Create or claim your Investor profile today and turn on e27 Connect to receive requests and fundraising information from them.

Image Credit: ferli

The post The 27 Vietnam startups that have grabbed our attention this year appeared first on e27.

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