RoK’s venture fund funnels capital into Vietnamese startups

Lotte Accelerator Corporation, an accelerator and venture capital firm under Lotte Group from the Republic of Korea (RoK), will pour at least 1 million USD into Vietnamese startups in the first five y
The money will be channeled through an alliance with Vietnam Silicon Valley Accelerator (VSVA), which was established based on the Vietnam Silicon Valley (VSV) project.

The RoK venture fund and the VSVA inked strategic cooperation agreement last weekend to set up the first venture investment fund designed for startups in Vietnam. The move is expected to serve as a catalyst for the venture investment market in the country.

Lotte Accelerator’s capital will be prioritised for retail, information and technology (IT) and trade.

Lotte Accelerator and the VSVA will discuss before making investment decision, said Mr. Jin Sung Rhee, CEO of Lotte Accelerator.

Along with pumping in capital, the RoK venture fund also plans to organise short-term training sources for Vietnamese startups in the RoK, he noted, given that his country has thorough understanding of startup ecosystem.

“Vietnam is one of the fastest stably growing economies in the world where Lotte Group has established a strong footprint in various sectors, from real estate, retail, distribution, to commerce and IT. It is a big market and startups are potential. That is why we want to invest in,” he said.

Before joining hands with Lotte Accelerator, the VSV trained and offered investment support to over 50 Vietnamese startups.

According to Mr. Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, strategic collaboration between the two accelerators is a considerable stride for business accelerator models.

The VSV project, the Government’s first project to endorse startups, was introduced in 2013 when international venture funds set foot in Vietnam and the country was housing a system of incubators; however, startups’ access to the funds was limited, Mr. Tung underlined.

He noticed that seeing the benefits that startups and innovation bring to socio-economic development, the ministry supported the implementation of Business Accelerate models and the VSVA has been carried out since 2014 with significant achievements.

The VSVA has incubated 50 companies, several of which attracted next rounds of funding from regional venture capital firms.

Ms. Thach Le Anh, VSV Founder, said that success of a startup depends not only on investors but also mentors who helps the new firm approach the investors.

The VSV pays due attention to cooperation with foreign partners to seek market and learn experience, she added.
Source: VNA