More than 20 years of start-up experience in Silicon Valley makes Binh Tran, the co-founder and CEO of 500 Startups Vietnam, can feel the passion of Vietnamese start-ups with the unicorn dreams.
Binh Tran is a Vietnamese-American businessman, known for being the owner of more than 20 technology products. He is the co-founder of four well-known start-ups in Silicon Valley (USA). Prominent among them is Klout - an online social influence monitoring and evaluation platform that President Barack Obama signed up for service in 2010. Klout is valued at $200 million.
In 2015, Binh Tran and his partner Eddie Thai raised 14 million USD "as capital", decided to return to Vietnam to build a seed startup investment fund, accompanying Vietnamese start-ups.
Binh Tran's decision to return was not originally planned. After divesting in Klout, Binh Tran was invited by the Brazilian Government to be a speaker at a technology forum within the framework of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. There, he met Khailee Ng, CEO of 500 Startups Fund Southeast Asia.
“The story of Khailee Ng and the investment in Grab got me thinking. Khailee Ng also talked a lot about the surprises in the formation of the tech startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia. My heart became open with one thought, there are important moments when an individual or a small group can change the lives of hundreds, even millions of people,” Binh Tran said and called this meeting served as a catalyst for him to begin writing the first lines of the new chapter of his book.
In fact, Binh Tran understands that this is a risky decision. With no previous fund management experience, in the context that Vietnam in 2015 was an emerging market and there was no large-scale divestment, raising capital for an investment fund was a real challenge.
But Binh Tran and Eddie Thai both believe in the talent of Vietnamese technology when starting to raise capital. The reputation of Vietnamese technology personnel is not too new. A Google executive once shared with Binh Tran that Vietnam has the same number of software engineers on Google's Android platform as Indonesia - a country with nearly three times the population of Vietnam. With his experience, he highly appreciates the capacity of young Vietnamese engineers.
But that's not all the appeal of Vietnam. The founding team of 500 Startups Vietnam believes that Vietnam will play a core role in the region's digital economy while the need for seed investment in Vietnam has not been met.
“We want to take advantage of an early time to sow the seeds at the right time, building an investment brand that founders can trust,” Binh Tran said.
Currently, 500 Startups Vietnam is the most active venture capital fund in Vietnam, following the goal of finding and nurturing the technology unicorns of Vietnamese start-ups. The journey may still be arduous, but as Binh Tran and his associates share, they believe in the path and the value it brings.
500 Startups Vietnam is a branch of 500 Startups based in Silicon Valley (USA) and is considered one of the world's leading seed-stage venture capital companies. 500 Startups Vietnam operates in many countries with a portfolio spanning almost every sector. Some prominent names being invested by 500 Startups Vietnam are Hiip, Voiz FM, RealStake, and Cricket One.
The average investment is 100,000 USD, maybe more in special cases. The team of 500 Startups Vietnam supports startups in many areas, including business operations, marketing, recruitment, and fundraising. By becoming a member of 500 Startups Vietnam, startups have the opportunity to approach the fund's chief investment officers in Vietnam and around the world, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, or expert advisors in many fields.
CafeLand; Theo Diễn Đàn Doanh Nghiệp