Vietnam’s startup ecosystem is making ahead progress. Only a week after 500 Startups’ native entity closed a $14 million fund for early-stage investments, one of many nation’s elder statesmen of startups — instructional service Topica — has closed its $50 million Sequence D.

The spherical — which is among the highest to this point for a Vietnamese tech firm — comes from PE agency Northstar Group. Northstar, which manages some $2 billion in belongings, is already linked to Topica by way of Openspace Ventures, the Singapore-based VC agency that’s already an investor within the startup and counts Northstar amongst its LPs. (Openspace rebranded from NSI earlier this yr, previous to which it was an arm of Northstar.)

Northstar’s whole possession stake is described as a minority however the actual measurement, and the valuation of the Topica enterprise, hasn’t been revealed.

Topica was based a decade in the past at a launch occasion attended by Invoice Gates, and since then it claims that it has helped multiple million adults by way of its on-line schooling platform. The enterprise counted Microsoft and Qualcomm amongst its unique sponsors and as we speak it covers the six largest nations in Southeast Asia — Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. It presents a spread of various providers that embrace English-language tutoring and university-level programs, nevertheless it has expanded to much less conventional disciplines together with a ‘founders institute’ accelerator program and a 3D ‘applied sciences’ program.

On the upper schooling focus, Topica works with 16 universities to supply Batchelor diploma {qualifications}. That program has graduated some 6,200 college students, the corporate claimed. Its dropout fee is above 90 p.c, in line with its knowledge.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, Head of Microsoft Basic Embassy Invoice Gates and different sponsors’ launching this system in April 2006 [Image via Topica]

Extra lately, Topica has additionally opened a market that features over 2,000 “brief talent programs” to assist customers study to grasp Microsoft Workplace or video modifying, for instance.

Topica has 1,700 workers and a couple of,000 instructing instructors throughout workplaces in Bangkok, Danang, Hanoi, HCMC, Jakarta, Manila and Singapore. There’s no particular intention for the funding aside from to additional the corporate’s ongoing mission of serving to attain extra college students utilizing digital mediums.

“We now have been blessed to work with nice companions like Northstar and our present buyers, who’re all smitten by our imaginative and prescient of investing in the long run to assist convey high quality schooling to hundreds of thousands of learners in Southeast Asia and past,” Dr. Tuan Pham, Topica chairman and CEO, stated in a press release.

Topica staff usually participate in marathons, ironman competitions and extra throughout Southeast Asia

Specifically, you possibly can doubtless count on that Topica will proceed to push its business-building initiatives as Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem continues to develop. A current report co-authored by Google forecast that the digital economic system for the area — which homes over 650 million individuals — will triple over the subsequent seven years. Topica claims that already it’s invested in one-third of the startups in Vietnam that raised seed or Sequence A funding in 2016, so it appears totally logical it’ll work to broaden that to different markets.

Google report: Southeast Asia’s digital economic system to triple to $240 billion by 2025


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