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Vietnam Startup Ecosystem: Why You Should Be Excited

Despite the challenging global economic uncertainties, the Vietnam startup ecosystem remains one of the rare beacons of light for both entrepreneurs and investors. In 2023, Vietnam has secured a staggering US$36.61 billion in FDI, surpassing initial projections with a remarkable 32.1% year-on-year increase.

According to Mr. Quat, head of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development, Vietnam has emerged as a leading innovation hub within ASEAN. The country is home to approximately 3,000 innovative startups, with 3 valued at over US$1 billion and 11 at over US$100 million.

As the Vietnam startup ecosystem continues to thrive in 2024, here are some of the latest trends and key players that businesses need to consider before joining this dynamic market.

 

Vietnam Startup Ecosystem Trends In 2024

Startup Funding In Vietnam by Sector (2018 – 2023) | VIETNAM INNOVATION & TECH INVESTMENT REPORT 2024

Vietnam is one of ASEAN’s fastest-growing digital economies, only behind the Philippines. Boasting 77.93 million internet users and an impressive internet penetration rate of 79.1%, alongside a staggering 161.6 million active cellular mobile connections, the country’s young tech-savvy population has played a key role in boosting its digital economic explosive growth.

Moreover, the growing middle class in Vietnam is also fueling the demand for digital services, particularly in areas such as online shopping, mobile banking, and telemedicine. In fact, the country’s digital economy is expected to reach 45 billion USD by 2025, with E-commerce, Fintech, and Software Development being the main contributors.

The Vietnam startup ecosystem is further bolstered by government support, with initiatives like special tax exemptions to foster business growth within the country. Additionally, ongoing efforts to promote national digitalization and the adoption of cashless transactions also further boost the development of tech startups across diverse sectors.

As a result, Vietnam has emerged as a focal point for foreign investors, particularly drawing the interest of Singaporean tech firms and startups seeking to expand into new markets.

More insights: Unveil Top Business Opportunities in Vietnam for 2024

 

Vietnam Startup Ecosystem – FinTech 

FinTech | Vietnam Startup Ecosystem

FinTech | Vietnam Startup Ecosystem

 

Vietnam’s FinTech sector has been growing rapidly, driven by the high mobile phone penetration rate and the increasing adoption of digital payments. Currently, the country is home to over 130 FinTech startups that offer a wide array of services, including digital payments, alternative finance, wealth management, blockchain technology, and more.

Notability, Vietnam’s digital payments market is poised for substantial growth, with projections indicating a total transaction value of US$32.18 billion by 2024. This growth trend is expected to continue steadily, with an anticipated annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 8.95%, ultimately reaching a projected total transaction value of US$45.34 billion by 2028.

Key E-Wallet Players

MoMo

Momo stands as Vietnam’s leading e-wallet application with a dominant market share of 68%. Recently, the platform has celebrated its remarkable milestones of 30 million users, 50,000 business partners, and 140,000 payment acceptance points spread across all 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam.

Zalo Pay

ZaloPay, alongside MoMo, leads Vietnam’s cashless payment sector with the largest share of the e-wallet market. Leveraging its integration with Zalo’s extensive user base of over 100 million, ZaloPay swiftly gained traction in the online payment market, and currently partners with Visa, Mastercard, and 39 domestic banks to facilitate interbank transfers, payments, and other services.

Shoppe Pay

Shopee Pay, previously known as Airpay, ranks third as the most used e-wallet in the market. Besides Vietnam, ShopeePay is also popular throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in Singapore and the Philippines.

 

Vietnam Startup Ecosystem – E-commerce

E-commerce | Vietnam Startup Ecosystem

E-commerce | Vietnam Startup Ecosystem

 

The e-commerce market is projected to potentially reach US$32 billion by 2025, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 30% between 2021 and 2025. Moreover, the number of users in Vietnam’s e-commerce market is expected to follow a continuous upward trend, reaching a new peak in 2027, with 78.44 million individuals.

Alongside the major players in the e-commerce sector, the Vietnam startup ecosystem has witnessed the rise of innovative companies offering robust solutions for e-commerce activities, including digital transactions, online marketing communications, and delivery services.

Key E-commerce Players

Shopee

With a 72.7% market share, equivalent to approximately US$920 million, Shopee stands as the current leading e-commerce platform in Vietnam. By forging strategic partnerships with local businesses, influencers, and celebrities, it maximizes their reach and credibility, thus reinforcing Shopee’s position and enabling sustainable growth within the country.

Lazada

Lazada, a prominent player in Vietnam’s e-commerce landscape, has made significant strides in recent years. The company successfully secured a substantial investment of US$845.44 million from Alibaba, enabling Lazada to further expand its reach, enhance its services, and solidify its presence in the competitive Vietnamese market.

Tiktok Shop

TikTok Shop is the new rising star in Vietnam’s e-commerce landscape, having recently surpassed Lazada to become the second-largest e-commerce platform. Unlike its rival company, the platform relies mainly on its TikTok social media reach and the appeal of viral videos to attract buyers.

 

Vietnam Startup Ecosystem – EdTech 

EdTech | Vietnam Startup Ecosystem

 

Vietnam’s e-learning market has experienced remarkable growth over the past three years, driven by the increased demand for online learning platforms. While K-12 education remains a dominant segment within the Vietnam startup ecosystem for EdTech, there are also untapped opportunities in higher education, vocational training, and workforce development. These sectors have garnered significant interest from foreign investors and innovative companies.

In 2023, the Vietnamese EdTech market is estimated to reach a revenue of approximately US $3 billion with an average annual growth rate of over 20%. Vietnamese EdTech startups also have successfully secured over US $400 million in funding from 70 domestic and international private investors.

Currently, there are more than 300 EdTech companies are currently operating in the country, offering services that focus on three main areas of E-Learning: digital content, learning management systems (LMS), and the integration of advanced technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) for school management.

Key EdTech Players

Topica 

Topica, Vietnam’s leading EdTech startup, is the first Vietnamese organization to “export” EdTech solutions abroad. Notably, its Series D round in 2018, which secured an impressive US$50 million in funding from investors, remains one of the largest funding rounds ever completed by a Vietnamese startup. 

Presently, Topica serves over 1,000,000 students through its EdTech platforms and services daily, offering an extensive catalog of more than 6,800 online learning courses. With a workforce of over 1,300 employees, the company operates from offices located in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Singapore, and Bangkok.

Vui Hoc

Vui Hoc is an online learning platform catering to K-12 students, featuring a library of over 500,000 dynamic lessons tailored to the national curriculum. Students can enjoy personalized learning experiences with video lectures, live-streamed classes, and one-on-one tutoring.

Currently, the platform serves more than 1.1 million students across Vietnam, encompassing grades 1 through 12, with a predominant presence in provincial areas.

Edupia

Edupia is a Vietnam-based EdTech startup that offers live classes and personalized tutoring services. Their dedicated teachers assign homework, evaluate students’ progress, and organize online activities to enhance engagement.

The platform has over 5 million users, with 400,000 paying students. While the majority of Edupia’s users are in Vietnam, there are also other learners from Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar.

 

Vietnam Startup Ecosystem – HealthTech

HealthTech | Top Business Opportunities in Vietnam

HealthTech | Top Business Opportunities in Vietnam

 

HealthTech is one of the sectors that experienced an impressive surge in funding and continues to stay on track over the years, proven through a remarkable total of US$968.2 million in digital health revenue last year, projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.71% from 2024 to 2028

This sector also set a milestone with record-breaking funding of US$53.5 million in 2023, marking a 259% increase from H2 2022. 

This steady growth is attributed to the shifting demographic headwinds, increasing wealth, rising healthcare demand, and the use of AI, blockchain technology, VR/ AR, and robotic applications. Moreover, the Vietnamese government is increasingly putting efforts into HealthTech by offering funding, infrastructure, regulations, incentives, and collaborations to create an ecosystem conducive to digital healthcare advancement.

Key HealthTech Players

Jio Health

Jio Health is a healthcare platform that provides online booking of clinical services and enables users to access a range of healthcare services such as online medicine delivery services, home care services, remote health consultation, lab test booking, and much more. 

The platform has impressively raised a total funding of US$30.4 million over 3 rounds up to now, positioning itself as one of the leading platforms for the Vietnam HealthTech ecosystem.

BuyMed

Buymed provides pharmaceutical businesses with such tech-based solutions as market research, distribution strategy, warehouse operation, and point-of-sale support. Through their specialized healthcare and medicine E-commerce platform, thuocsi.vn, BuyMed has successfully raised $51.5 million in a Series B fundraising round, accounting for nearly 80% of capital mobilized in the market.

Up to now, they have partnered with over 1,000 leading pharmaceutical companies, ensuring a reliable supply of high-quality pharmaceuticals and medical equipment for over 35,000 pharmacies nationwide.  

Doctor Anywhere

Doctor Anywhere (DA) is a tech-led healthcare company in Singapore with  2.5 million users across 6 countries in Southeast Asia. Their offerings include telehealth apps, physical clinics and pharmacies, specialist consults, and also an online health & wellness marketplace.

Recently, they have announced a US$40.8 million successfully raised in the Series C1 extension all-equity funding round. The influx of funds will be directed to strategically drive next-generation healthcare innovation within the company and to deepen its presence in secondary care.

 

Conclusion 

The positive growth of the Vietnam startup ecosystem presents an alluring investment opportunity, propelled by the nation’s robust economy, burgeoning talent pool, and favorable governmental support.

Yet, tapping into this promising market requires more than mere recognition of its potential; it necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the country’s business opportunities and challenges.

For Datality Lab, a leading Research & Data Science Consultancy, Vietnam is a challenging market as the company lacks deep insights to validate the actual growth potential for their products.

Thus, they partnered with Launch JDI to establish Datality Lab’s local presence and connect with potential clients within the country. Here is what they’ve found out.

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Interested in Vietnam? Explore the market’s true potential and its barriers with our next curated insights: Pros And Cons Of Doing Business In Vietnam In 2024

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