Foreign funds pour money into tech startups

VietNamNet Bridge - More and more technology firms are receiving investment from foreign venture funds, which indicates the maturing of the Vietnamese technology community.


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Insight Venture Partners has announced an investment of $40 million into QASymphony, a software testing tool developed by KMS Technology, a startup established in 2011 by co-founders Vu Lam and Josh Lieberman.

QASymphony is used by more than 450 clients in the Global 2000 (the 2,000 biggest companies in the world), including Cisco, IBM, Boeing, Visa, Amazon and Adobe.

This is the third call for capital since its establishment. After the deal, QASymphony has split to become an independent firm. The Vietnamese team of nearly 40 engineers from KMS Technology will continue to be in charge of QASymphony products.

Telenor, the Norwegian telecom group with revenue of $16 billion in 2016, has announced it has reached an agreement with Singapore Press Holdings on taking over the capital contribution in joint ventures in Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar, worth $110 million.

More and more technology firms are receiving investment from foreign venture funds, which indicates the maturing of the Vietnamese technology community.

After wrapping up deals in June, Telenor will officially fully own Chotot.vn and ImSold operational in Vietnam. Making its debut in 2012, Cho Tot is the largest advertisement web with 10 million users, 600 million viewers a month and 3,000 successful transactions per day.

Just after two years of operation, Homedy, the website that provides real estate information, has received an investment from Genesia Ventures (Japan) and Pix Vine Capital (Singapore). Analysts said the investment shows that investors put high hopes on the growing real estate market.

Just days before, Genesia Ventures announced it had poured capital into Luxstaty.net, an online house leasing platform based on an economy sharing model which was established six months ago.  

Luxstay's product portfolio now includes luxury villas and products owned by billionaires or celebrities with the products advertised as equal to 4-5-star hotels and resorts and the rent 50 percent lower.

Soichi Tajima, the manager of the newly set up Genesia Ventures, has many years of experience in investing in Asian startups and has been known as the CEO of CyberAgent Ventures (CAV).

CAV’s investment portfolio includes 15 Vietnamese startups, including familiar names such as VNG, Vatgia, Tiki and Foody.

Nguyen Manh Dung, chief representative of CyberAgent Ventures, a Japanese venture fund, in Vietnam, said there are changes in investment trends.

After injecting money into familiar business models, investment funds now tend to eye  potential sectors such as FinTech, EduTech, artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Doanh Nhan Sai Gon quoted Hajime Hotta, an independent investor from Singapore, who poured capital into six startups, as saying that he believes Vietnam is the place to create ‘unicorns’ in the world of startups.


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Thanh Lich

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