Fintech accounts for maximum startup funding in Vietnam in 2018

A client counts Vietnamese dong banknotes at a bank in Vinh Yen city, Vietnam, August 19, 2015. REUTERS/Kham

Fintech accounted for the maximum funding in Vietnamese startups in 2018, surpassing e-commerce and other sectors.

According to the latest funding data by local accelerator Topica Founder Institute, investors injected $117 million in the country’s fintech startups last year. In comparison, e-commerce startups attracted $104 million in venture capital funding in 2018.

The total funding of $117 million is likely to include a $100-million investment by Warburg Pincus in e-wallet app MoMo. Both Warburg and MoMo declined to comment on the quantum of funding raised by the startup.

The accelerator did not identify the startups but said it recorded eight fintech deals in 2018. During the year, the six fintech companies that announced funding rounds were OnOnPay, eLoan, Moca, P2P startup Tima, F88 and Finhay.

Fintech funding in 2018 represents a significant jump from 2017 that saw eight transactions being closed worth $57 million in total.

Another significant momentum is that the sector continued to attract private equity players. Prior to Warburg Pincus, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered Private Equity had been investors in MoMo since 2015.

Private equity engagement in Vietnamese tech startups is still limited. Recently, Topica Edtech Group announced its $50 million fundraise from Northstar Group. Other prominent investments include Singapore’s GIC injecting capital in VNG Corporation and Caldera Pacific’s investment in LeFlair.

The opportunities for fintech in Vietnam come from a staggering 41 per cent of Vietnam’s 97 million population being unbanked, according to Leo Pham, program manager at VIISA, a local fintech-focused accelerator.

The development of fintech in the country, as thus, remained largely focused on the personal/retail finance sector, Pham said.

“Another key differentiation for Vietnam is the rising number of small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs). Fintech solutions, such as point-of-sale technologies, gifting platforms, and digital marketing tools, will empower SMEs and open new customer onboarding channels for them. Other segments like digital lending and crowdfunding open new channels of fundraising for SMEs to grow their businesses,” he added.

According to market studies, Vietnam had around 70 fintech companies at the end of 2018, with a majority of them engaged in payments.

A study by consulting firm Solidiance last year predicted the Vietnam fintech market will grow to $7.8 billion by 2020 from $4.4 billion in 2017.

Also Read:

Exclusive: Insignia Venture invests in Vietnamese fintech firm Finhay

Warburg Pincus leads around $100m funding in Vietnamese e-wallet MoMo

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.