#Asia Singapore’s Expara, Microsoft team up for Vietnam accelerator


Expara is giving startups an opportunity for a US$10,000 mid-point investment and up to US$500,000 after Demo Day

Ho Chi Mihn Accelerator

Vietnam has found itself the choice spot for a foreign investment firm and tech giant looking to invest in Southeast Asian startups.

This week Expara Ventures, CLAS and Microsoft Vietnam teamed up to kickstart the ‘CLAS Expara Startup Accelerator‘ based in Ho Chi Minh City.

CLAS, an acronym for the Customer Loyalty Acquisition Services (CLAS) Company Limited, will provide the facilities and operations.

Expara will offer a US$10,000 investment at its discretion during the mid-point review and up to US$500,000 for successful graduates after Demo Day. The funds are coming out of the company’s Venture III fund, consistent with the stated goals of,

“EV3’s unique strategy is to make regional, early-stage investments (from seed stage to Series A) in highly scalable companies across SEA. EV3 will have an affiliated accellerator in each geography to support our companies in the seed stage.”

Also Read: Your cheat sheet on Vietnam’s startup scene

A major perk for this accelerator programme comes from Microsoft. It will provide access to its BizSpark and BizSpark Plus packages which allow startups to take advantage of the software giant’s Azure cloud development platform for up to 3 years for free (a value of US$147,000). Microsoft has sponsored more than 100 Vietnamese companies through this plan since 2009.

“Vietnam is an important emerging market for Microsoft in Southeast Asia with great growth potential with its large, young, proactive, talented population,” said Vu Minh Tri, General Director of Microsoft Vietnam.

Furthermore, Microsoft works with companies they believe fit into the corporate goals and help the startups develop a ‘Go-To-Market’ scheme.

CLAS actually grew out of the SHTP Microsoft Innovation Centre and are in the business of marketing software.

In March, Expara announced a goal of raising a S$30 million (US$ 21.4 million) investment fund and made a US$5 million close in July.

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