EMIIF has made its second investment: US$3.5 million in Ascend Vietnam Ventures (AVV)’s Alpha Fund

EMIIF has made its second investment: US$3.5 million in Ascend Vietnam Ventures (AVV)’s Alpha Fund. AVV is the only venture capital fund in Vietnam to include a focus on technology firms founded by women. Australian Government’s funding to AVV, including the EMIIF commitment, will mobilise up to A$ 70 million into AVV’s first fund. In unlocking much needed capital for SMEs, EMIIF is supporting COVID-19 economic recovery.

AVV invests in Vietnamese SMEs that improve livelihoods by providing tech-based solutions in health, education and financial services. Through funding from DFAT’s Investing in Women program in 2021-22, AVV also runs the SHINE incubator, which focuses on early-stage companies founded by women and actively builds a pipeline of women-led investment opportunities. In Vietnam, SMEs employ over 50% of the labour force. Early-stage venture capital is critical to support more of these businesses to grow – creating jobs, offering valuable products and services to an expanded population, and supporting domestic resource mobilisation.

AVV has made several investments related to agriculture value chains, retail and financial services. Kilo is a Vietnam-based B2B e-commerce platform that connects wholesalers with micro, small and medium enterprises. Kilo’s platform enables SMEs to manage businesses across multiple sales channels, and optimize inventory turnover to save costs and reduce risks over the long term. FoodMap is a Vietnam-based agritech firm connecting farmers and food producers with individuals or business owners. EasyGop is a buy-now-pay-later platform with flexible application, fair and transparent terms, and collaborative debt servicing. The company is led by a woman fintech professional who graduated from AVV’s SHINE incubator.

EMIIF will also provide up to A$250,000 in tailored technical assistance to AVV and the companies they invest in. This will help institutionalise AVV’s focus on achieving and measuring social impact. AVV holds the potential to set a new standard for impact and gender lens VC investing and influence norms in Vietnam’s fast growing venture capital community.

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AVV invests in Vietnamese SMEs that improve livelihoods by providing tech-based solutions in health, education and financial services. Through funding from DFAT’s Investing in Women program in 2021-22, AVV also runs the SHINE incubator, which focuses on early-stage companies founded by women and actively builds a pipeline of women-led investment opportunities. In Vietnam, SMEs employ over 50% of the labour force. Early-stage venture capital is critical to support more of these businesses to grow – creating jobs, offering valuable products and services to an expanded population, and supporting domestic resource mobilisation.