Grab has launched a Vietnam-focused accelerator program for early-stage startups to capitalize on the country’s fast-growing tech ecosystem, the company announced today in a media statement.
Vietnam is the first regional country where the company’s accelerator, called Grab Ventures Ignite, will operate. The program is an extension of the ongoing Grab Ventures Velocity accelerator focused on post-seed startups.
Five startups in the Grab Ventures Ignite program will receive a cash investment of USD150,000 from Grab and Gobi Partners, Grab’s funding partner for this project. Selected startups from the program will also undergo a 14-week training program in Ho Chi Minh City, in addition to receiving other benefits such as cross-border exchange with Singaporean startups.
Startups from sectors such as mobility, food, payments, financial services, logistics, e-commerce, and artificial intelligence (AI) are particularly encouraged to apply, said the company.
“Vietnam’s startup ecosystem is very well poised for digital disruption by startups, with investments increasing sharply over the last year,” said Chris Yeo, head of Grab Ventures. “We now want to pave the way for startups to grow and scale faster, playing our part in solving the country’s challenges.”
In 2019, funding to Vietnam-based startups accounted for 18% of total investment in the region (about USD 741 million), a huge jump from the previous year where it only accounted for 4% (USD 287 million), according to a report by early-stage Singapore-based VC firm Cento Ventures.
Grab has recently announced its latest funding of USD 850 million from Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. In Vietnam, Grab said last August it would commit USD 500 million investment over the next five years, as the country has been identified as Grab’s “next growth market” after Indonesia.