Mekong-focused venture capital firm Belt Road Capital Management (BRCM) has injected $3 million in a Series B funding round of Tima, a Vietnamese P2P lending platform incepted in 2015.
The latest investment values the company at $20 million. Tima raised a series A round in 2016 from Dunearn Singapore Fund and G Capital.
This is the first investment by the Cambodia-headquartered fund manager in Vietnam.
Proceeds from the Series B round will be used for national expansion, technology enhancement and talent acquisition, Tima said in a statement.
Under the agreements of the transaction, Witt Gatchell, senior investment manager of BRCM, will join Tima’s board of directors.
“While the sector is new to Vietnam, it is well developed in other markets. We believe that Tima’s strong management team has implemented the necessary internal and financial controls that will allow the company to successfully manage risk and expand across Vietnam,” Gatchell commented.
“We received higher demand from top financial investors and strategic investors in this round. We may have a pre-series C funding round right after this Series B, our Board is considering this proposal from several big funds and open to investors who can add value to the company for our growth and expansion,” Tima co-founder and Board member Cong Tran said.
The company says it has 23,775 lenders and over 2 million borrowers on its platform. In order to soothe the concern over P2P lending risks, Tima has partnered with Vietnam’s second largest bank’s insurance arm Vietinbank Insurance Corporation to secure the transactions.
While marking its foray in Vietnam, BRCM has funded a spate of companies in the sub-Mekong region, including recent deals in mobility solution startup Unnitel and Sabay Digital.
“We are seeing strong growth in tech-enabled businesses across the Mekong region. Many business models that have proven successful in larger markets have yet to be implemented in the region. We believe that strong, locally driven teams can be successful at taking proven tech-enabled business model and localizing them,” said Gatchell.
BRCM’s debut fund has a corpus of $50 million and has a pipeline to invest in 10 companies, the firm told DEALSTREETASIA in an earlier interaction. Its typical investment preference is in the Series A or Series B round with minority stake holding.