Venture investment funds in Vietnam have been disbursing more money to targeted firms, particularly startups with potential, the English language news portal VietNamNet Bridge reported.

Investors, for example, are interested in Appota, one of nine Southeast Asian digital content startups that most deserve investment, valued at millions of dollars.

Singaporean and Japanese venture funds have obtained agreements on investing in the company. Declining to reveal the names of the two funds, Do Tuan Anh, CEO of Appota, said the fund would not only bring capital, but also other important values, including advice on long-term business strategies.

According to Anh, there are five venture investment funds officially operating in Vietnam. There are other funds investing in Vietnam but they do not have head offices in Vietnam.

The first foreign venture fund in Vietnam was IDG Ventures Vietnam (IDGVV). The fund injected money into many Vietnamese startups 10 years ago, many of which have become big businesses like VNG, VC Corp and Vat Gia JSC.

At that time, it was very difficult to approach Vietnamese startups because there was no incubator or training program for startups.

Things are getting much easier these days thanks to the establishment of incubators and the larger connection network.

In Asia, Vietnam is believed to have more advantages than some other Asian countries in developing internet and mobile services thanks to a young population that easily approaches new services.

Though there exists a gap in development between urban and rural areas, the digital gap between areas in Vietnam has narrowed rapidly.

Nguyen Hong Truong, vice president of IDGVV, said international investors see all of these factors as great advantages for Vietnam.

With the nation’s advantages and the dynamism of young entrepreneurs, the startup movement in Vietnam has been growing more rapidly than in other regional countries.

There still exists, however, a big problem for Vietnamese startups: it is more difficult to access official capital sources in Vietnam than in other developed countries, where international capital sources are always ready for disbursement.

IDGVV has invested in 40 businesses which provide mobile and online services, technology, media, entertainment and education. Most of them have witnessed a stable high growth rate of over 30 percent over the last two years.

Of the existing venture funds in Vietnam, IDGVV is said to take high risks when making investment decisions.

According to Dau tu, DFJV, a fund present in Vietnam since 2007, has invested in 10 businesses. The newspaper quoted DFJV’s managing director Than Trong Phuc as saying there are not many Vietnamese businesses that can bring high profits, while it is not easy to call for capital, though investors from the US, Europe and Asia are injecting money in Vietnam.

While IDGVV is believed to be the fund which laid the foundation for the first venture investment wave in Vietnam, CyberAgent Adventures (CAV) from Japan is considered the factor that kicked off the second wave.

While both IDGVV and DFJV did not make any outstanding investment deals in the last two years, CAV has invested in 17 businesses as of the first quarter of 2014, of which three deals were made in the first quarter alone.-VNA