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Lotte keen on local startups

Released at: 07:55, 24/12/2017 Vietnam - South Korea Relationship

Lotte keen on local startups

Mr. Jin Sung Rhee, CEO of Lotte Accelerator

Mr. Jin Sung Rhee, CEO of Lotte Accelerator, tells VET's Quynh Nguyen about its decision to invest $1 million in Vietnam's startup ecosystem.

by Quynh Nguyen

Why is Lotte Accelerator keen on Vietnam’s startups ecosystem? 

We have two reasons for investing in Vietnam’s startup ecosystem. Firstly, Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing but stable economies in the region. Secondly, the Lotte Group’s policy encourages strong investment in many fields in Vietnam, so startups are not out of the question. We hope to be able to contribute to the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Vietnam and to work with Vietnamese startups to resolve problems the Lotte Group is facing. We hope that through this cooperation we can take the development of the Lotte Group towards innovation.

Can you tell us more about the decision to invest at least $1 million in Vietnam’s startups? 

According to an agreement signed between Lotte Accelerator and VSVA, within five years we will invest $1 million in eco-business startups in Vietnam. Of course, this is only the figure for the initial cooperation, and depending on the results it may be higher. We hope to be able to find startups relating to areas in which the Lotte Group operates in Vietnam, such as retail, technology, and trading. 

 Vietnam’s startups often die during the seed rounds. What specific support does Lotte provide? 

The $1 million is the minimum. In addition, we may invite Vietnamese startups to South Korea to exchange experience. When deciding to invest in a startup, we not only provide financial investment but can also bring the startups out of Vietnam. They have the opportunity to be part of our commercial network. The Lotte Group is currently investing in about 30 countries around the world. In Vietnam, VSVA is the pioneer and we believe that with its knowledge we will have high-quality products and services.

Why does Lotte focus on a small startup market like Vietnam? What does it expect following these investments?

Vietnam is not a small market. In countries like South Korea and Japan, growth is slowing down. Vietnam has a young workforce, so it should be seen as a large market with great potential. We estimate that Vietnam and Indonesia are the two countries in the region with the potential to attract the largest investments in startups.

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