Vietnamese startups encountering challenges in IPO process


After a successful funding round to prove its strengths, a startup usually aims at the initial public offering (IPO) in order to expand its activities and increase its value. In Vietnam, however, this process seems complicated and troublesome to many startups.

An office of VNG (Photo: SGGP)

An office of VNG (Photo: SGGP)

During the harsh Covid-19 pandemic, certain Vietnamese startups like Sieu Viet Group, Propzy, or OnPoint still succeed in attracting millions of US dollars for their enterprises.

Most impressively, leading this time’s funding round in Vietnam are Gaw Capital and SoftBank Ventures Asia (Japanese’s SoftBank funding specializing in investing into Asian startups).

Similarly, Grab has just announced a list of 13 startups (including Abivin, bePOS, GoDee, Hana, Medici, Emiso, Papaya, Stringee, Sumi, Vbee, WeCare247) participating in Grab Ventures Ignite, a series of professional training, consultation, and capital attraction activities lasting 14 weeks to boost startup’s capacity. The five winners will receive an investment of over US$1 million, along with supporting packages from Grab and its partners.

However, funding rounds should not be the only goal of startups. They need to aim at the IPO process to further increase their own value.

In the conference ‘The Way to IPO: Opportunities & Challenges for Startup, Small- and Middle-scaled Businesses’, held by Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB), financial and stock experts insisted that IPO is a milestone to offer more chances for enterprises to attract more capital. Nevertheless, this process is still a great trial even to stable businesses, let along startup ones.

Ms. Nguyen Hong Mai, General Director of Tam Anh Financial Co., shared that to begin IPO, an enterprise must be transparent in its technology implementation, human resources, and financial reports. These sensitive pieces of information may be taken advantage of by competitors.

In addition, the potential of stock’s value increase is the utmost condition to attract investors.

Since the time that Yeah1 (with the ticket symbol of YEG) carried out its IPO, there has been no other companies following the step.

According to President of Yeah1 Nguyen Anh Nhuong Tong, it took the business 12 years with clear strategies to prepare for that process. He further commented that to be successful in IPO, an enterprise must first identify its target stock buyers.

Another outstanding Vietnamese startup, VNG, also dreamt of being listed in Nasdaq of the US. Three years ago, an agreement signed by this company signal such a hopeful future; yet everything is still on the table. It seems VNG must overcome more obstacles to fulfill its dream.

CEO of SIHUB Huynh Kim Tuoc stated that his organization is planning to establish an academy in the next 3 years specializing in training startups for this IPO process.

By Ba Tan – Translated by Thanh Tam

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