Why does a Vietnamese startup take only 3 years to become a unicorn but its “headquarters” is located in Singapore?

Tram Ho

Documentary film “Journey for Vietnamese unicorns” produced by VTV1 Editorial Board and published on February 21, 2022, reports on Vietnam’s three current technology unicorns, VNG, VNPay and Sky Marvis.

While other companies have taken decades to achieve their goal of becoming a unicorn, meaning a technology startup valued at more than $1 billion, Nguyen Thanh Trung’s Sky Mavis has surpassed the billion-dollar threshold in less than three years. “Faster success also means greater pressure from the market, currently Sky Mavis is headquartered in Singapore, has a branch in Vietnam to distribute software”, excerpted from the documentary VTV1.


Vì đâu một startup của người Việt chỉ mất 3 năm để thành kỳ lân nhưng "trụ sở" lại đặt ở Singapore? - Ảnh 1.

Become a technology unicorn of Vietnam Sky Mavis is valued at billions of dollars thanks to the success of the game Axie Infinity. CoinDesk, a long-time news site on the cryptocurrency market, has praised Nguyen Thanh Trung, one of the 10 most influential figures in the crypto world in 2021: “the character who makes cryptocurrencies interesting. than”.

Sharing with VTV1, Nguyen Thanh Trung said: “We have a different starting point compared to many technology companies in Vietnam. We started in the international market first. Although Vietnam has been very developed in recent years. However, in terms of world scale, the Vietnamese market is still small, if starting from a new technology industry, the Vietnamese market may not be enough to develop, so we are forced to go out into the world. The development process is both consolidating the organizational structure and having a multinational culture and thinking in order to operate in the international market instead of an all-Vietnam team.

When starting with Axie in 2018, Nguyen Thanh Trung gathered many good personnel, 3/5 members are Vietnamese, 2 foreign associates including 1 American and Norwegian staff, currently the staff of Sky Mavis increased to more than 100 people from many countries around the world.

“In 2018, cryptocurrencies are still very primitive so there are many problems to solve, at first we faced many difficulties and even nearly went bankrupt a few times, this is not really a big deal. smooth ride , we don’t want to work with someone who’s just in their comfort zone ,” said Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founder of Sky Mavis, one of the early Axie Infinity players who gave up everything. went to Vietnam to build a startup with Nguyen Thanh Trung shared.

Explaining why he chose to be headquartered in Singapore, Nguyen Thanh Trung told VTV1 that: “Blockchain and NFT are very new. To develop this industry we must have a familiarity, now despite initial success, there is still a lot of work to do. a lot of work to do if we want to push forward.Human resources will be an important factor if we want to develop in the world and especially in Vietnam, although we have the advantage of time, but to be ahead of other countries. In the world, it is imperative that we have good human resources. Enterprises at the beginning have very little time to decide how to be both in Vietnam and best for their business activities. We had to find a geographical location to make development easier and attract investment capital easily, so it was difficult to choose the Vietnamese market at the beginning.”

Sharing with VTV1, Mr. Nguyen Huy Dung, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, said that Singapore is really the focal point of innovation in the region because Singapore has policies to encourage businesses to come but look at it from a different angle. , Vietnam has characteristics in Vietnam, if Vietnamese enterprises start up abroad to supply products to the world and then return to dominate the Vietnamese market, it is good. But looking back at our limitations, so that a business that wants to start a business in Vietnam can start a business in Vietnam instead of another country because the legal and institutional corridor of Vietnam is not favorable, we will coordinate with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to research and make recommendations to adjust policies accordingly so that enterprises, if they do not choose to start a business in Vietnam, for other reasons than because of the legal and institutional corridor.

Journalist Do Le Thang commented, Nguyen Thanh Trung is based on a blockchain platform that distributes all over the world very quickly, which is the foundation on which young Vietnamese create applications where in a new field the gap between Vietnamese and foreigners are not too far away, a Vietnamese and German engineer may be quite far, but a game programmer in Vietnam and a game developer in Silicon Valley are much shorter. ” We have a generation of young people with global capacity to adapt to the rapidly changing technology world” , journalist Do Le Thang concludes.

Nguyen Thanh Trung said, “Blockchain and NFT are an extremely new market, so there are many points that people still do not understand in the process of participating. In addition to developing technology and products, this is also a market for everyone. When it comes to investment, we must be well equipped with knowledge and before deciding to do anything, we must learn carefully.”

Previously, the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report conducted by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company made the assessment that Vietnam’s Internet economy is forecast to become the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, reaching $220 billion. USD in Gross Goods Value (GMV) by 2030…

The report predicts that Southeast Asia including Vietnam is entering a ‘Digital Decade’ as the Internet becomes more and more an integral part of consumers’ daily lives. The region currently has more than 440 million Internet users and, importantly, 350 million of them are digital consumers, i.e. Internet users who have used at least one online service.

Before Sky Mavis, Vietnam had two tech unicorns, VNG (currently valued at $2 billion) and VNLife.

Sharing with VTV1, Mr. Le Hong Minh, Chairman of VNG, Vietnam’s first technology unicorn, said that the journey of starting a business as well as the path of creating valuable technology products and having many users is a long way. The important thing is not that we create a fast or slow technological unicorn, but that we continue to persevere, creativity is the most important thing.

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Source : Genk