Mekong Capital-backed pawnshop F88 raises $4.3m through bond issue

Vietnamese private equity-backed pawnshop operator F88 has raised 100 billion dong ($4.3 million) through an issuance of its bonds to local investors.

The inconvertible notes have a two-year term and undisclosed fixed interest rate.

Bao Viet Securities Company advised the transaction.

“Our strategy of raising capital from the domestic bond market is adopted from international pawnshop companies such as First Cash in the US, Srisawad in Thailand and MaxiCash in Singapore. This tranche of bonds will provide essential capital to facilitate our growth,” said F88 chairman and CEO Phung Anh Tuan.

F88, founded in 2013, became Vietnam’s first pawn services provider. In 2017, the firm bagged an undisclosed amount from Vietamese private equity firm Mekong Capital. Last year, F88 continued to raise another round from Dublin-based investor Granite Oak.

The 2018 investment valued F88 at $43 million.

The Hanoi-based company aims to open 100 stores in 2019 and 300 stores by 2021. To achieve the goal, it said bond issuance will continue as a fundraising path.

F88 currently has 90 outlets in northern Vietnam cities and provinces and in Ho Chi Minh City. In 2018, it recorded accumulated loans of 873 billion dong and expects to increase the volume by another 1 trillion dong by the end of this year.