With nearly 44 percent of its population using the Internet, Vietnam has become the latest target market of 500 Startups, a seed fund and accelerator for Internet startups.
In a statement on its website on Monday, the 2010-founded fund, which is better known for its Silicon Valley accelerator program, announced its venture partners in Vietnam.
Binh Tran, a technologist with more than 20 years of experience and who had founded several startups, and Eddie Thai, a Harvard and Yale graduate and who was recently named in the Forbes Vietnam’s list of 30 future leaders, will act as its advisors.
500 Startups has more than 1,000 companies around the world in its portfolio.
The company has invested in three Vietnamese startups since last year. It plans to make investment in 20 more companies in the next 12 months in the country, which it deems as “big, fast-growing, and underserved by seed stage venture capital firms.”
Vietnam’s population exceeds the combined number of California, New York and Florida, and more than 40 million of them use the Internet, it said.
Moreover, the country is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies since 1990 and has been Apple’s fastest growing market, it added.
“For us, it was never a question of ‘is Vietnam ready as a market?’, but rather ‘are we ready for Vietnam as a market?’, and today, we’re making our first of many moves to be ready,” Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, was quoted as saying in the statement.
In May, local IT giant FPT launched a venture fund, planning to invest around US$3 million into local technology startups every year.
FPT estimated that around 1,000 technological startups are founded in Vietnam every year.