Vietnam's tech start-ups: A force to be reckoned with

HANOI (REUTERS) - Vietnam's tech start-up scene is booming... and glued to screens in offices and work spaces across the country are the young, tech-savvy brains behind it.

Three years ago, a Hanoi-based start-up released "Flappy Bird" - a game that quickly became an international hit and which set the ball rolling.

Financial powerhouses have upped their investment, and venture capitalists are announcing Vietnam-focused funds, all hoping a little financial nurturing will yield another success.

Silicon Valley-based "500 Startups" has set aside US$10 million (S$13.5 million) for the country. It estimates 1,000 or more start-ups to launch in Vietnam every year.

One of its shoestring investments is Beeketing, whose 26-year-old founder says foreign interest is all down to Vietnam's cheap, but skilled, labour.

Most of the start-ups are in e-commerce, a sector where sales grew around 35 per cent last year to US$4 billion.

Compared to China and India, Vietnam's start-ups are getting little government support. All they have is a scheme dubbed "Vietnam Silicon Valley", which includes legal advice, shared work spaces, and US$10,000 in cash.