Vietnamese fintech app MoMo raises $28m from StanChart PE, Goldman Sachs

M_Service, Vietnam’s tech firm behind fintech app MoMo, has received a total of $28 million in funding from Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs.

While the US investment banker is investing $3 million, MoMo will get $25 million from StanChart PE.

Goldman Sachs is a return backer in MoMo, which raised $5.75 million from the banker in 2013.

Standard Chartered Private Equity made its Vietnam debut in 2015 with the $35-million purchase of stake in restaurant operator Golden Gate from Vietnam-dedicated PE firm Mekong Capital. Weeks later, it announced to acquire a significant minority stake in An Giang Plant Protection JSC for $90 million.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has also invested in several Vietnamese firms like sanitary product company Diana, and Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment Corp.

It is not very often that Vietnamese tech startups raise such a large funding round from investors. According to sources close to M_Service, the startup is associated with Vietnam’s telecom and internet major VNPT (state-owned Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group).

Since August 2015 Standard Chartered Bank has partnered with MoMo to launch Straight2Bank Wallet payments in Vietnam. The service enables corporations, governments and development organisations to transact with both banked and unbanked individuals without cash. M_Service was the first company in Vietnam licensed by the local central bank to provide mobile wallet catering to the unbanked population.

The fresh funding will be used to boost MoMo’s presence across the country and develop new services, the company said.

MoMo also allows users to pay utility bills through its partnership with 24 local banks. In addition, the startup has already had transaction points across 45 cities and provinces in Vietnam, helping spread its services even to rural areas.

MoMo has currently secured 2.5 million users, and targets 7 million within the next three years.

Vietnam has around 30 fintech firms but few of them have received funding to operate The adoption of financial technology in the country is low and the unbanked population was recorded at about 70 per cent for 2015.

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