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Startup-Rating Firm OddUp Arrives in Saigon, ASEAN’s Future Silicon Valley

As the buzz over Saigon’s tech scene continues to grow, startup-rating website OddUp has arrived in the southern hub.

Last week the Hong Kong-based company, which provides potential investors with financial information and recommendations on various startups, announced its arrival in a press release. Saigon is the latest city in OddUp’s ASEAN rollout, with the firm launching a presence in Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila late last year.

“Ho Chi Minh City has a unique startup culture with a solid entrepreneurial community,” said OddUp CEO James Giancotti. “A young, fast and vibrant country with a fierce work ethic could only help the entrepreneurs in a positive way. It is a very interesting landscape for potential investors.”

According to Tech in Asia, the goal of OddUp is to bring greater transparency to the often opaque world of startup funding and also provide insight into these nascent companies, assigning each firm an investment risk ranking based upon its product, competitors, location and potential growth, as well as a handful of other factors.

This news comes around the same time as Asian Correspondent’s proclamation last week touting Vietnam as ASEAN’s Silicon Valley. Vietnam has been viewed as Southeast Asia’s answer to Silicon Valley for a while, but as the industry attracts greater government support and more international investors, it’s a prospect worth repeating.

In its own take on the Vietnamese startup ecosystem, Asian Correspondent cited the country’s entrepreneurial spirit, education policies and government support as keys to its success so far.

Though the country was initially viewed by outsiders as a prime source of cheap labor to produce electronic components – think Samsung plants, for example – Vietnam has since become a center of innovation, research and development.

Last September, Saigon authorities sunk US$45 million into local startups, while foreign investors have also expressed interest in the country’s blossoming tech industry.

Vietnam’s freakishly good test takers and top-notch tech talent have also done their part to attract foreign investment and new opportunities. During a visit to the country in 2015, Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke of investing more heavily in Vietnam’s skilled tech workers. The American tech giant is now outlining plans to train 1,400 local IT engineers.

[Photo via Forbes]

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