All the latest news about Viet tech, startups, founders, investors, and unique investment opportunities
Issue 4, January 2023
Founder Spotlight: Binh Dang, Founder of MeridianLink
Network News: Jungle Ventures, OP3N, Patamar Capital, VinaCapital
Funding: Antler Companies, Open Commerce, Infina, SoBanHang, Jio Health
Vietnam Tech and Startup Environment
Investment Increases, R&D Centers, Tech Unicorns, and More
DID YOU KNOW?
Vietnamese is the fifth most spoken language in the US and is rising fast
Vietnam’s average unemployment rate for the past 10 years is 1.7%, among the lowest
FDI into Vietnam increases by about 8% per year
Binh Dang, Founder of MeridianLink
In 2018, after 18 years building out MeridianLink, Binh Dang sold his 50% ownership stake to Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm specializing in acquiring software companies and has over $114 billion in assets under management. When he exited, Dang, who had served as the CEO from inception until 2016, created an over 80% annualized ROI. MeridianLink went public in 2021 on the NYSE with a market valuation of over $2 billion at the time of the IPO.
Thoma Bravo had acquired MeridianLink and CRIF Lending Solutions to merge them for an undisclosed amount. The combined organization became MeridianLink and served approximately 1,200 customers and over 300,000 end users at the close of the merger.
The merger was meant to enable the combined organization to extend technology investments into privacy protections and best-in-class data analytics for financial institutions. Like most PE deals, it was financed in part by a $350 million senior secured credit facility arranged.
Dang founded the company with a friend in college as a software consulting company. They used their money and knowledge acquired providing consulting to transform the company into a product company. Their first product, MortgageCreditLink, was a credit reporting system for mortgages. It made the company profitable within 12 months of release. This product financially supported the development of the company’s next two products.
Their strong growth and cash flow, along with an internal conflict among the management team that went public through court litigation, attracted the interest of Thoma Bravo, who viewed this as an opportunity to consolidate the market. MeridianLink at the time was considered the “800-pound gorilla in the consumer Loan Origination Software (LOS) space, in both functionality and number of clients.” Analysts opined that the merger will stabilize MeridianLink’s management issues and avoid unnecessary duplication in technology.
Dang is now applying the knowledge and capital he acquired from his experience with MeridianLink to launch his new company, Quest for Justice.
On January 27th, 2023, 10:30 a.m. (PST), please join SAVVi in an exclusive Zoom interview where Binh Dang, co-founder and former CEO of Meridianlink, will share his experience in selling his company to Thoma Bravo.
Get your questions for Binh Dang ready and save the LINK!
Click the link below to join the webinar:
SAVVI NETWORK NEWS
Singapore-based venture firm Jungle Ventures is digging deeper into Southeast Asia and India with the close of its fourth fund. Fund IV totals $600 million, with $450 million for new investments and $150 million earmarked for follow-up investments in its portfolio companies. The fund’s close brings Jungle Ventures’ total assets under management to over $1 billion, which it says makes it the first independent, Singapore-headquartered venture firm that invests across Southeast Asia and India to hit this milestone. Jungle Ventures was founded in 2012 by Amit Anand and Anurag Srivastava, launching with a $10 million debut fund. Jungle Ventures has about 60 portfolio companies and says its enterprise value is over $12 billion on $250 million of invested capital, with a loss ratio of less than 5%.
Some of Jungle Ventures’ most notable investments include unicorns Kredivo, Livspace and Moglix. It looks for companies that can expand between Southeast Asia and India; for example, Livspace was founded in India and now operates in Southeast Asia, too.
Now United, the global pop group launched by American Idol creator Simon Fuller in 2016, will be the subject of an interactive live-action musical film hosted on the NFT platform OP3N. The film will be exclusively available to NFT pass holders on the OP3N app, which was launched in 2021. The project is being mounted in partnership with Culture Catalyst, a $100 million initiative to fund and support the development of arts, entertainment and culture projects on the Avalanche public blockchain developed by Ava Labs. The musical, which will feature members of Now United and original songs, is designed to inspire schools to create their own version of performances featured in the film and compete to win a contest on the OP3N platform as voted on by community members.
Binh Dang Interview Webinar
Tết Business Networking Event
- 6pm Vietnam Time
- Ho Chi Minh City
Startup Valuation and Fund Raising
- 9am Vietnam Time
- Ho Chi Minh City
Smart Tech Vietnam 2023
- 9am Vietnam Time
- Ho Chi Minh City
Beacon, a women-focused investment firm backed by Singapore-based Patamar Capital, announced that it has launched Beacon Fund, an investment vehicle with an initial target of US$50 million, to invest in female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. Having already raised around 25% of its goal amount, the fund’s initial focus will be on debt products, which Beacon said tend to be a better fit for the moderate-growth and cash flow- positive businesses that the fund targets. The investment vehicle’s check sizes would range from US$500,000 to US$2 million, though it said this could be smaller if it spots businesses that contribute to Covid-19 recovery measures, according to a statement. Beacon Fund will invest in companies that match its target profile, including startups in sectors like education, agribusiness, and healthcare, among others. The fund is expected to make its first investment before the end of the year.
Vietravel Holdings has sold 1.78 million shares of tourism company Vietravel, or a 10.3% stake, to investment fund VinaCapital. The deal was made on December 23 at a price of VND24,000 ($1) per share, more than 10% higher than its current market price of VND21,300. The Hanoi Stock Exchange restricted trading in the VTR stock on the UPCoM market to Fridays since September 13 on account of negative equity. After the sale to VinaCapital, Vietravel Holdings owns 5.26 million VTR shares, or 30.38% of the tourism company. Vietravel reported profits of nearly VND7 billion ($282,000) in the third quarter after incurring losses during the two previous quarters. The company reported revenues of VND1.49 trillion in the third quarter, 25 times up from a year earlier. Its carrier, Vietravel Airlines, began a daily Hanoi-Bangkok service in mid-December, and plans to launch HCMC-Bangkok services in early February 2023.
Antler Vietnam’s Second Cohort Companies
7 of Antler Vietnam’s companies: AuMBER, BUYO, Edupops, Kyons, Neoloka, Petgotchi, and Shelfi participated in Antler Vietnam’s Investor Night on the 12th of January. Each company pitched to over 100 VC representatives in person. They are all actively looking for funding. Their information can be found here https://www.antler.co/portfolio
Cross-border e-commerce company OpenCommerce Group (OCG) raised US$7 million in a Series A funding round in late February. The business provides affordable and all-encompassing support services to online sellers, and has already expanded to San Francisco and Shenzhen. Another e-commerce platform, Mio, finalised US$8 million in their 2022 Series A funding round with new investors Jungle Ventures, Patamar Capital, Oliver Jung, GGV Capital, Venturra, Hustle Fund, and more. Established in the midst of the pandemic in June 2020, the trading platform enables the buying and selling of agricultural products in Vietnam’s smaller cities and rural areas.
FinTech startup Infina secured US$6 million in its seed funding round from Sequoia India’s Surge programme, Y Combinator, Saison Capital, Starling Ventures, Alpha JWC Ventures, and AppWorks. The investment and accumulation platform provides users with a range of options from fund certificates and stocks, to fixed income products.
Management application SoBanHang raised US$2.5 million in March 2022 from FEBE Ventures, Class 5, and Trihill Capital, among others. The app was developed by brothers Bui Hai Nam, the former CEO of Lazada Vietnam, and Bui Hai Long, the former Chief Analyst and CTO of Landers Superstore in the Philippines. The app helps small businesses create online stores and manage orders and funds raised will focus on their product range and developing new features.
HealthTech startup Jio Health also finalised its series B funding round led by Singapore’s Heritas Capital in March 2022, securing US$20 million. Through their innovative technology, the platform aims to provide affordable healthcare across the country, connecting doctors and nurses with patients anytime, anywhere.
VIETNAM TECH AND
Investors set to pour US$5 billion into Vietnam’s startup market in 2023-2025
“Vietnam’s startup market is set to receive investment capital worth US$5 billion during the 2023-2025 period.
The figures were announced at the Vietnam Venture Summit 2022 with the theme “Shifting Global Capital Flows” held on December 19, where 39 venture capital funds pledged to invest $1.5 billion in local startups during the period.”
Global tech investors continue to bet on Vietnam
“Vietnam’s growing capacity to make complex tech products is attracting more foreign investors who are setting up factories. Apple supplier BOE Technology Group plans to invest US$400 million to build two factories in Vietnam, Reuters reported recently. It is in talks to lease land in the north to put up factories to add to its relatively small plant in the south that supplies mostly television screens to South Korea’s Samsung and LG Electronics, the report said. BOE is the latest tech company to eye Vietnam as its next manufacturing hub, where already smartphones, laptops and cameras are made by or for multinationals such as Samsung and Apple.”
S. Korea and Vietnam open technology research center in Hanoi
“South Korea and Vietnam held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST) in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on January 17.”
Why does Vietnam attract global tech giants?
“Tax incentives, low labour costs, along with plenty of other favourable policies can be considered the primary reasons why a number of global technology giants have chosen Vietnam as their base for production.”
Vietnam has golden opportunity to develop tech unicorns
“Reports showed that total investment decreased by 17.9 percent to $494.208 million from $602.25 million in 2021. The number of investment deals during that time was 94, a 13 percent decrease year-on-year. However, the scale of the deals increased. Vietnam attracted nearly $500 million in technologies, and the number of successful deals accounted for 19 percent of all of Southeast Asia. Experts said that Vietnam is one of three points of the golden triangle of startups in Southeast Asia besides Singapore and Indonesia.”
Vietnam records best-ever performance in digital economic development
“Vietnam is speeding up the development of the digital economy, considering this a “breakthrough” step to promote the country’s economic growth in the context of the 4th industrial revolution. Vietnam is viewed as a country with high potential for fast digital economic development and digital transformation trend across all fields.”
LinkedIn (SAVVi Community):
STRATEGIC ALLIANCE VIETNAMESE VENTURES INTERNATIONAL
venture capital organizations
Pre-seed to Seed
Ascend Vietnam Ventures
Pre-product market fit
Seed Round, Series A, Series A
AI, Enterprise Application, Fintech, Insurtech, SaaS, Machine Learning
East Bridge Partners
Gaw Capital Partners
Real estate sector
Golden Gate Ventures
Early stage, series A, B
Tooling, consumer apps, SaaS, logistics, e-commerce
Seed to series A
Pre-seed, seed, series A
Monk’s Hill Ventures
Seed to Series A
SoftBank Ventures Asia
Enterprise Software, Mobile
Seed, pre-series A
Fintech, Edtech, Logistics, Ecommerce, Nanotech, Lifestyle, Service
Early to growth-stage
Solution-oriented companies and transformative founders across sectors and stages.
Vietnam Investments Group
Early-stage to expansion capital
Full List Coming Soon To https://www.savvicode.com/