(Dec 13): Investments in Vietnam have been gaining traction in recent years, but the biggest story may lie in its private markets. In just two short years, the country has jumped to the third most active start-up ecosystem from the second least active among the six largest Asean nations, lagging only behind Indonesia and Singapore, according to a report by Cento Ventures and ESP Capital in August.

More venture capitalists (VCs) are eyeing the market as they believe that is where the action is. “We see enormous potential in Vietnam, with strong socioeconomic macro [factors] driving the growth of a large, young, digital-first, consuming middle class. This alone would catch the attention of any investor. But coupled with the magic ingredient of a large, experienced, returning diaspora, these factors make the country super interesting,” says Justin Nguyen, partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures in Vietnam.

The country saw its first unicorn in 2016, when online entertainment and e-commerce portal VNG Corp reached a valuation of US$1 billion ($1.4 billion). It counts Singapore’s state investor Temasek and Tencent Holdings among its investors. Other notable and well-funded start-ups include e-commerce site Tiki, e-payments start-up VNpay and e-wallet service provider Momo.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook