Unitus Impact invests in Vietnam’s MobiVi & China’s Micro Benefits

US impact investment fund Unitus Impact said it has invested in Vietnam-based payment platform MobiVi’s iCare Benefits program, and China’s Micro Benefits, through its Livelihood Impact Fund.

Beau Seil, managing partner of Unitus Impact, said: “[Unitus] is excited to support two visionary entrepreneurs as they scale innovative companies working to set a new benchmark for the treatment of low-income factory workers in Asia.”

Over the next three years, these companies expect to provide millions of low-income factory workers with access to a suite of employee benefits.

In Vietnam, a country that employs roughly 10 million factory workers, less than two per cent of the population has access to a credit card or formal financial services. MobiVi partners with multinational companies to help workers with low-cost installment finance to purchase necessary life-enhancing products such as mobile phones and basic appliances.

“MobiVi’s clients have already purchased thousands of items and accessed thousands of low-cost loans using their employment status as the primary credit qualifier,” Unitus Impact said in a statement.

“Unitus Impact’s investment and strategic support has helped solidify partnerships with large multinational clients and scale our platform to provide over three hundred thousand factory workers with access to life-enhancing products and financial services,” said MobiVi CEO Trung Dung.

According to the company’s website, other investors in MobiVi include UK information group Experian (which reportedly funded $4 million), Vietnam-based wealth fund Kusto Tiger and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

Established in 2008, MobiVi provides B2B and B2B2C technology to everyday transactions, with some 5,000 agents using its web POS (point of sale) to process transactions for telecoms, utilities, cable and internet, and game companies.

Meanwhile, Micro Benefits CEO Tyler Lyman said that Unitus Impact has been integral in the development, deployment, and growth of the company’ business model and mobile-based delivery platform.

In China, a majority of the country’s 150 million factory workers lack access to employee benefits and affordable, high-quality skills training opportunities that foster upward economic mobility. In addition, most companies suffer from costly employee turnover rates, as high as 15 per cent per month.

Micro Benefits offers an employee engagement platform including a discount program designed to boost employees’ purchasing power, vocational and leadership training programs, and an interactive social media platform that allows employees to directly communicate with co-workers and HR departments.

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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.