VN Digest: F88 secures $10m loan; Beacon Fund invests in Hoa Nang Organic

The impact investment space in Vietnam is bustling with action, with financial services firm F88 raising a $10 million loan from impact debt investor Lendable, and gender-lens investment fund Beacon Fund backing rice producer Hoa Nang Organic.

Financial services firm F88 gets $10m loan from Lendable

Vietnam-based financial service firm F88 has raised a $10 million secured loan facility from emerging market fintech debt finance provider Lendable.

This loan marks the first transaction for Lendable in Vietnam. F88 said it will use the funding to serve more unbanked and under-banked individuals and MSMEs in the country. The company has amassed 50 million customers by the end of 2021.

“F88 is aiming to disburse half a billion US dollars in 2022. F88 has expanded its reach beyond F88-branded stores through partnerships with leading retailers and technology partners in Vietnam making our services available throughout a network of almost 4,000 F88 and partner stores,” said Phung Anh Tuan, founder CEO of F88.

Granite Oak, an existing investor in F88, was the advisor in this transaction, according to a statement.

F88 received its first private equity investment from Mekong Capital in 2017, before raising another round from Dublin-based investment firm Granite Oak a year later. In 2020, these investors continued to inject about $6 million in the company.

Beacon Fund invests in Hoa Nang Organic

Beacon Fund, a gender-lens investment fund in Southeast Asia seeded by Patamar Capital, has invested an undisclosed sum in Vietnamese organic agriculture company Hoa Nang Organic.

Founded by CEO Dang Thi Truong An, Hoa Nang Organic has “a rare female CEO in the agriculture sector with a demonstrated commitment to gender diversity at the team and farmer level,” Beacon Fund said in a statement.

Producing organic rice as its main product, Hoa Nang Organic claims to have increased its revenue by 30% in 2021, thereby modifying its supply chain structure, and developing an online sales and product delivery strategy during the pandemic.

Beacon Fund said its investment will help Hoa Nang Organic with additional resources to expand operations in the Mekong Delta region. “This will help position the company in the long term, to develop additional organic product lines of even higher value and to serve more customers,” the investor added.

Hoa Nang had earlier bagged a seed investment of $500,000 from Louis Nguyen, chairman and CEO of Saigon Asset Management, and a “Shark” on the Shark Tank Vietnam TV franchise, in 2018.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.