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$110m Pledged for Vietnamese Startups

It looks like Vietnamese startups are about to get a boost in funding. The Ministry of Science and Technology has announced a $110 million program called FIRST, designed to breathe financial life into the Vietnamese startup ecosystem.

The program, with the stated aim to “foster scientific research, improve and advance the use of technology, encourage creativity, and ignite technology business for the purpose of improving the economy,” will last from 2014 – 2019.

While most of the funding will come from the World Bank, the IDT investment fund, backed mainly by Russian and Kazakhstani investors, contributed $10 million.

According to TechinAsia, Russians have a history of investing in Vietnam’s startup scene:

“Russian investors have played an increasingly significant role in Vietnam’s startup ecosystem with big investments in search engines such as CocCoc and Wada, which both spent over $15 million each in the last two years on securing Vietnam’s search engine market. This project will allow them to be even closer to their customers.”

Though it’s unclear exactly how the money will be spent, minister Nguyen Quan said beefing up Vietnam’s technology market will help with the country’s economic recovery.

A drop in the bucket, to be sure, but at least it seems as though some recognize the importance of an active startup ecosystem in Vietnam.

[TechinAsia // Photo via]

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