Eddie Thai and Binh Tran, the partners at U.S. venture capital fund 500 Startups have founded Ascend Vietnam Ventures with plans to invest in 25 local companies.
Binh Tran and Eddie Thai, general partners at early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator 500 Startups Vietnam, said that they have finished deploying their first Vietnam-focused seed fund, 500 Startups Vietnam. They are launching a new firm to invest larger checks and to provide more support for a more concentrated portfolio of companies.
Their early-stage investments will range from $500,000 to $2 million and be in tech startups in areas like finance, education, healthcare, productivity, and future of work, according to a statement.
Around a third of the startups will receive follow-up investments of $4 million, it added.
500 Startups Vietnam was launched in 2016 by the Silicon Valley startup accelerator and VC fund to capitalize on Vietnam’s growing market.
500 Startups Vietnam raised $14 million in 2018, which has been fully invested in more than 70 companies.
Some of its notable investments have been in language learning app ELSA, Base.vn, which was acquired by IT giant FPT Corporation, and Axie Infinity, whose latest round includes Mark Cuban as an investor.
The partners will continue to manage the 500 Startups Vietnam fund, which has a portfolio of 76 companies, while starting the new venture. Ascend Vietnam Ventures’ investments will be larger than the typical $100,000 to $200,000 that 500 Startups funneled into individual companies.
Investment in startups in Vietnam jumped by 34 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to $100 million, according to a report by South Korean venture fund Nextrans, according to VNExpress.