Our guest for Episode 13 is James Vuong, CEO of Infina.vn, Vietnam’s leading digital investment platform formerly known as RealStake. His impressive VC track record goes a long way: first as the CEO of WebTreTho, which made a big splash when it exited to Line Plus Corporation, and after that as the Vice President of IDG Ventures.
According to James, the prospect of having to make investment decisions scares the young. Many see the traditional multi-step process as obscure or overly complicated and are put off by the perceived complexities associated with it. With platforms like Infina providing clarity and guidance, people can invest in assets like property with ease. They invest an amount that they can afford to reap huge benefits in the long run.
The decision to rebrand from RealStake to Infina was driven by the goal of broadening their offerings. RealStake was a fractional ownership platform focused on real estate investment and after it gained traction it became clear that there was a much larger demand for a variety of investment options including fixed income, CDs, mutual funds etc… James knew that it was the right move. Besides creating a brand that was less restrictive, James jokes that he also wanted a name that, for the Vietnamese, was less of a tongue twister.
Beyond the real estate industry
James is a firm believer in starting small — flexible capital could be a massive stepping stone to long-term saving habits. His goal with Infina is to help people easily invest and have access to diverse investment products. He explains that there's been a huge increase in brokerage accounts with an exponential growth of investment choices. However, there are lots of HENRYs (High Earning But Not Rich Yet) in Vietnam who are still priced out of these investment products. Infina's goal is to help those investors have a real stake in the economy, democratize finance, and to transform the Vietnamese mindset from saving to investing.
His general advice to those overseas? Now more than ever is the time to be in Vietnam. Join a startup. In fact, create your own! “Industries like Fintech are growing rapidly,” he hints.