Vietnam-based Be Group, the owner and developer of on-demand multi-service consumer platform be, has raised a loan facility of $60 million from Deutsche Bank, which can be upsized up to $100 million.
Be said it will use the proceeds to continue scaling up its three primary consumer services of ride-hailing, food delivery and digital bank arm Cake by VPBank, in addition to new expansions.
Starting out as a ride-hailing business in late 2018, Be has grown its ecosystem to include transportation, delivery, flight booking, insurance, telecom services and a digital bank. Cake by VPBank provides a wide range of financial services, including payments, savings, loans, micro-investments and credit cards. Launched in January 2021, the digital bank has garnered more than 2 million customers.
Be said it turned profitable on a contribution margin basis in Q3 2022. With over 20 million downloads of its app, the company claims it is the biggest Vietnamese tech player in the on-demand transportation category. It has also surpassed over 1.5 million monthly active users.
The company is now present across 28 cities and provinces in Vietnam.
“Deutsche Bank has been present in Vietnam for over 30 years, and such transactions further demonstrate the bank’s unwavering commitment to our clients in this country. As Vietnam’s economy continues to thrive, we see many opportunities to partner with our clients to support their growth,” said Sreenivasan Iyer, managing director and head of investment banking coverage Southeast Asia and financing origination China, India at Deutsche Bank.
To date, Be has not announced any equity funding round. DealStreetAsia understands that Be is backed by several members of Hanoi-headquartered VPBank’s board of directors.
Since Grab and Uber forayed into the Vietnam market in 2014, a number of domestic transportation apps have jumped on the ride-hailing bandwagon, such as FastGo, Vato and MyGo. These players have either become inactive or turned to a niche focus such as express delivery service.
As Be has positioned itself as a multi-service platform, its competitors in the local market also include the groceries delivery businesses of e-commerce players such as Shopee and Tiki, food delivery startups Loship and Baemin, as well as super-app MoMo.