Vietnamese startups have seen a considerable decline in investment over the past year, with indications that this trend will persist.
According to the Vietnam Innovation and Technology Investment 2023 Report, jointly published by Do Ventures and the National Innovation Center, Vietnamese startups secured $634 million in investments in 2022, a 56% decrease from 2021. These investments were made through 134 deals.
Do Ventures’ managing director, Le Hoang Uyen Vy, attributes the drop in investment to the absence of significant deals, stating, “The investment decreased due to the lack of any significant deals.” This news is quite disheartening for startups in Vietnam, as they may face a challenging funding landscape in the future.
Despite this decline, Vietnam still ranked third in the number of deals and fourth in investment in Southeast Asia last year. The report also revealed that financial services attracted the most investment, increasing by 248%, followed by retail, health, and education.
“This is worrying news for Vietnam’s tech industry, which has been growing at a remarkable pace in recent years,” said Nguyen Tuan Anh, director of the National Innovation Center. “However, we believe that the industry’s fundamentals are strong, and we are confident that it will continue to grow in the long term.”
Amid the challenges confronting Vietnamese startups, some have managed to secure significant funding. In the first quarter of 2023, three Vietnamese startups have raised over a million dollars each, providing a glimmer of hope for the country’s entrepreneurial landscape.
Vietnamese telehealth platform Medigo has raised $2 million in a series A funding round led by East Ventures, with participation from Pavilion Capital and Touchstone Partners. Medigo offers nationwide remote doctor consultations, medicine delivery, and home testing services nationwide.
The funding will help the platform to develop its healthcare ecosystem and optimize operations through digital transformation. They aim to improve the physical and mental health of the community with additional capital.
In addition, Medigo intends to develop a healthcare ecosystem that includes remote doctor consultation, quick medicine delivery, and home testing services. Ha Le, Medigo’s CEO and co-founder, expressed his excitement about East Ventures’ lead role in the current fundraising round.
Vietnamese pawnshop chain F88 has secured $50 million in funding from Vietnam Oman Investment and Mekong Enterprise Fund IV, managed by Mekong Capital. This marks Mekong Capital's third investment in F88 as the chain rapidly expands its presence in the country.
F88 plans to use the funds to develop its technology, build its brand and attract skilled staff members. According to Chris Freund, CEO of Mekong Capital, this investment is a wise choice. F88 has grown from having just 15 offices in 2018 to become one of Vietnam’s largest financial service providers.
As of February 2023, F88 has a total of 830 branches across all 63 cities and provinces, making it one of the country's largest financial services companies.
The lending company aims to reach 10 million customers by 2025, providing affordable and instant financial access through its offline branch network, digital channel, and omnichannel partnership network.
GIMO is a fintech start-up from Vietnam that recently raised $5.1 million in a series A funding round. The investment was led by TNB Aura, with participation from returning investors, including Integra Partners, Resolution Ventures, Blauwpark Partners, ThinkZone Ventures, and Y Combinator.
The new funding will allow the fintech startup to continue to innovate and expand its suite of digital financial solutions to serve its customers better. CEO and co-founder Quan Nguyen stated that the fresh capital would drive revenue growth and support the development of new products, which are expected to be launched in the coming months.
GIMO’s mission is to improve the financial lives of financially underserved Vietnamese workers, starting with on-demand pay. According to the startup, almost 500,000 workers from around 100 businesses currently have access to their earned wages through their app.
GIMO has experienced impressive growth, with a 24x year-on-year revenue growth and an 11x year-on-year increase in transaction volume. It has become a popular financial app for underserved workers in Vietnam.