Vietnamese tech startups are eager to grab opportunities post-COVID-19 pandemic
Vietnamese tech startups have all the tools and circumstances to bounce back and seize new opportunities after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the recent Grab Ventures Ignite event, Pham Nguyen Bach, founder of bePOS said that for the capable people, danger comes with opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the global economy hard. However, strong and capable startups can survive the tough time while weak ones will disappear.

Established in 2017, bePOS is the Super Point of Sale Platform to empower small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). After three years of operation, the startup has served 4,000 clients across 10 markets including the US, Australia, and Vietnam. Thanks to its innovative solutions, bePOS achieved a growth rate of 10 per cent per month.

Bach noted that Vietnam is one of the key markets for bePOS. Since its inception, the startup has moved its team to Vietnam to reduce operation expenses and offer quality services with affordable prices for overseas clients. Meanwhile, it has designed an exclusive package for Vietnamese clients, almost free of charge for local SMEs so they can sail through the tough time.

Meanwhile, the representative of Emiso said that the startup provides core technologies for corporate clients to build their own live-streaming and video streaming products. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation trends. Livestreaming and video streaming are gaining momentum as people limit face-to-face meetings. So far, Emiso has provided its solutions to real estate and e-commerce companies. To tap into the growth potential, Emiso will raise new funds and seek qualified investors with know-how and financial capability.

Shaun Chong, chief technology officer of Ninja Van said that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of opportunities as many people go online. Many industries put everything into e-commerce. Tech is essential for survival. Thus, tech startups can thrive even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Vietnam has tremendous potential for development. Ninja Van has recognised Vietnam as the second-fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia. At the same time, right after Indonesia, Vietnam is the most populous country in the region. The market witnessed very high growth in e-commerce with a lot of transactions. There will be huge demand for cost-efficient and quality logistics services with huge opportunities for players. There is also a lot of support from the government.

Furthermore, Vietnam is a huge market for tech products with its young and tech-savvy population. The country boasts a high rate of internet penetration and smartphone ownership. Every cloud has a silver lining – and this is also true for crises. While COVID-19 was unexpected, if startups have the right technology, they will become successful.

Cao Trong Kim Tri, deputy general director of Citigo Software, the company that owns KiotViet, noted that Vietnamese startups are on the radar of foreign investors. A number of venture funds have started to recruit employees in Vietnam to serve their expansion. Foreign funds are showing more interest in local startups as valuations are more affordable than those in Indonesia and Singapore.

He believed that Vietnamese startups should focus on optimising operations, develop customer base, and improve transparency to attract investors. Some fields are luring large foreign investments including payment, fintech, healthcare, and education.

According to Nguyen Thai Hai Van, managing director of Grab Vietnam, the COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on many startups in Vietnam and caused many difficulties. However, challenges can be turned into opportunities if startups are poised to embrace changes.

“As startups are confronting more challenges, yet meeting more opportunities, we see our responsibility in providing startups with support to strengthen their capability for the new normal through Grab Ventures Ignite,” she said. “This programme brings Grab’s unique strengths and capabilities as the first decacorn in Southeast Asia to nurture Vietnamese early-stage startups, contributing to the socioeconomic growth of Vietnam and the startup community through the ‘Grab for Good’ commitment.”

Grab Ventures Ignite, an accelerator programme for early-stage startups in Vietnam, with a focus on helping Vietnamese startups thrive in the new normal. Grab Ventures Ignite is in a strategic partnership with Vietnam National Innovation Center (under the Ministry of Planning and Investment) and is in association with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Gobi Partners, Toong, YKVN, and Amazon Web Services.

After the one-week bootcamp, the 13 selected startups have got access to a 14-week full-programme of professional training and mentorship from C-suite experts, with more than $1 million in investments and in-kind perks from Grab and its programme partners. Through the Grab Ventures Ignite programme, Grab aims to encourage tech entrepreneurship and support the growth of Vietnam’s tech startup ecosystem, as part of its “Grab for Good” development roadmap to create greater social and economic benefits for the country through technology.

Vietnamese tech startups have all the tools and circumstances to bounce back and seize new opportunities after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam Investment Review