Two years within the making, 500 Startups has closed a $14.1 million fund centered on Vietnamese startups.
The fund is the primary the agency has closed since co-founder Dave McClure resigned in 2017, based on a spokesperson for 500 Startups. The fund will again corporations which might be both based mostly within the nation, serving the Vietnamese market, or whose founders are initially from the area. 500 Startups intends to again about 100 corporations out of the fund, writing checks of $50,000 to $250,000.
Chief Govt Christine Tsai stated the Vietnam fund matches into 500 Startups’ international technique to have nearer entry to expertise and deal circulate all over the world when seed funds and accelerators are proliferating.
The agency has had some setbacks with its worldwide funds, nonetheless. Final 12 months, it put fundraising plans on hold for funds in Scandinavia and India, struggled to boost cash in Turkey, and decreased its exercise in China. At this time, 500 Startups operates overseas micro funds in international locations together with South Korea, Mexico and Japan, based on a spokesperson.
Up to now, the Vietnam fund has invested almost $three million in 36 corporations because it launched in 2016. Of that group, 28 both have a Vietnamese founder or have groups based mostly in Vietnam, stated enterprise associate Binh Tran, who leads the fund with Eddie Thai.
Mr. Tran, who is predicated within the Bay Space, and Mr. Thai, working from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, have each been with 500 Startups since 2015. Mr. Tran stated the agency was drawn to Vietnam as a result of there was an uptick in startup exercise within the nation, however entry to early-stage capital is tough to come back by.
“Most VC are going to later-stage corporations, and the incubator and accelerator scene is actually nascent,” stated Mr. Tran, who co-founded the now-defunct social media scoring web site Klout Inc. “We wished to convey the Silicon Valley norm into the nation.”
Write to Heather Mack at Heather.Mack@wsj.com