Vietnam start-ups need more investment

Despite strong growth, investment into innovative start-ups in Việt Nam remains relatively modest compared to the region and the world.

Vietnam start-ups need more investment

Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep (Business Forum) newspaper organised the 2018 Start-up Forum in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

According to a Topica Founder Institute report, up to US$291 million was poured into Vietnamese start-ups last year, a year-on-year increase of 42 per cent.

According to Tech in Asia, the Southeast Asian region has attracted $7.86 billion in start-ups last year.

Therefore, the amount of investment into Vietnamese start-ups accounted for a very small proportion, less than 5 per cent, reported Từ Minh Hiệu, a representative from the Department of Market and Sci-Tech Enterprise Development, Ministry of Science and Technology.

The number of investment transactions in Việt Nam is also increasing, however the number of transactions under $1 million is in the majority, Hiệu said.

The amount of investment with capital of over $10 million is small, he said. “The number of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals is very small. No startup has made an initial public offering (IPO)”.

Vũ Tiến Lộc, chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said that capital for start-ups is very important.

There are currently more than 50 investment funds in diverse investment forms but scattered and in small scales, Lộc said.

Therefore, the chairman of VCCI said that it is necessary to research more deeply on the investment funds to create supportive mechanisms to help enterprises focus on innovative start-up ideas.

"Capital for start-ups must always be ready, because this is the ’baby bottle’ for successful start-ups, therefore we need more ways for this ’baby bottle’ to grow," Lộc emphasised.

The Government has promulgated many regulations and programmes to support start-ups, especially innovative start-ups, including Decree 38/2018/NĐ-CP on innovative start-up investment. Trinh Thi Huong from the Enterprise Development Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment, said Decree 38 identified and recognised innovative start-up investment activities as a business; identified the legal status of innovative start-up companies and funds.

The decree is expected to provide a legal basis for private investors when jointly contributing capital to establish a creative start-up fund; streamline capital flows for creative start-up activities. In addition, Vu Tien Loc also spoke highly on the role of large enterprises as the senior companies will provide funds for start-up investors to carry out social responsibility.

“This is considered one of the goals of developing a start-up community in Việt Nam, therefore, large enterprises need to boost action plans and spend for start-up capital," he said.

In addition, the VCCI leader said that the country’s entrepreneurial spirit is not inferior compared to the global landscape.

According to a VCCI study of over 60 economies, Việt Nam is among the 20 economies that have leading entrepreneurial spirit.

However, in terms of the possibility of realising the ideas of starting a business and introducing a business model, Việt Nam is among 20 economies in the second half," he said. — VNS

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