By PHUWIT LIMVIPHUWAT
The sum will be taken from KVision’s current startup investment budget of $245 million. The rest of the budget will go to funding Thai and foreign startups elsewhere in the Asean region.
In its business plan to target startups in Vietnam, a fast-growing market in the Asean region, KVision has joined hands with the Vietnamese government to support Thai startups in Vietnam.
In cementing their commitment to investing in the Vietnamese startup ecosystem, KVision signed a cooperation agreement with the Vietnamese government’s Business Startup Support Centre (BSSC).
“BSSC’s profound understanding of their home market will help Thai startups thrive in the Vietnamese business ecosystem,” Pattarapong Kanhasuwan, chairman of KVision, told a press conference yesterday.
Investment in startups in Vietnam reached $889 million in 2018, tripling the figure in 2017, Pattarapong said.
For this reason, he argued that the Vietnamese market is like a “Greenfield”, offering ample business opportunities for new ventures.
“In investing in Thai startups that will enter the Vietnamese market, we are not looking for investment returns. Instead, we are investing in the long-term for future business partners, as we plan to eventually become a regional bank in Asean,” Pattarapong said.
KVision will particularly target fintech and e-commerce startups.
Those target groups are in-line with the market trend of Vietnam. According to Hang Nyugen, deputy director of BSSC, “The key startup trends in Vietnam are currently led by fintech firms, followed by e-commerce, education tech and travel tech.”
“From our collaboration with KVision, we aim to boost the number of unicorns – startup companies valued at over $1 billion – in the country. We expect 20 Thai startups to enter the Vietnamese market in the upcoming year,” she added.
“When investing in the Vietnamese market, Thai firm should first become familiar with Vietnam’s socio-political background,” Nyugen continued. “Vietnam is a one-party country supporting a free market.”
Hence, when startups enter the Vietnamese market, they should be ready to collaborate with the Vietnamese government and receive support from the public sector, especially if they are firms operating in an entirely new market segment or business model, she explained.