Hanoi-based top-up service firm OnOnPay has landed an $800,000 pre-Series A funding led by Shanghai-headquartered VC firm Gobi Partners in just over a year since it raised seed funding from Malaysia’s Captii Ventures.
The Malaysia-based VC investor also participated in this latest financing round. Gobi Partners invested in this round through its MAVCAP’s ASEAN SuperSeed Fund vehicle.
The pre-Series A proceeds will be used for customer acquisition strategies and developing OnOnPay’s tech platform, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Moving forward, the fintech startup is mulling overseas operations with the first targets being Malaysia and the Philippines, Bui Sy Phong, founder and CEO of OnOnPay, told DEALSTREETASIA.
Founded in 2015 as a mobile wallet operator, OnOnPay’s web and smartphone-app platform allow users to top up their pre-paid mobile phone accounts.
In addition, users are offered rewards like extra credits, coupons and gift certificates as they complete topping up with a few clicks.
“The combination of mobile-based transactions and a significant unbanked population in this region is very attractive and promising as business opportunity for us and with the new round of funding, we definitely will capture a greater part of the available market,” Phong said.
He added that his venture differentiated itself from competitors by tapping into the unbanked consumers, which in Vietnam reportedly accounted for as much as 70 per cent of the adult population.
“Most of the startups in the region are looking at servicing the “first billion population” i.e. consumers in the first tier cities, but not many companies are able to provide a solution to serve the “next billion population” – people who are living beyond the cities but have the consumption power and are eager for more product and service options. Hence, OnOnPay opens up the market of untapped consumers to brands and products looking to scale beyond credit card subscribers,” commented Gobi’s ASEAN investment director Victor Chua.
Chua said he saw the potential of expanding to emerging and frontier markets such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar for such services.
“We have full confidence in the OnOnPay business, and happy to extend further support to Sy Phong and his team in this pre-Series A round with Gobi. We can see a clear path ahead to a Series A that will push OnOnPay ahead as a market leader in this region,” shared Sai Kit, executive director of Captii Ventures.
Elaborating on the difficulties of the fintech market in terms of customer behaviour, building trust and technology framework and regulations which are still a weak point to facilitate fintech, Phong hoped the expertise from regional investments of both investors will help OnOnPay overcome these challenges.
“Gobi is very strong in mass consumer business, and Captii is very strong in technology framework with deep expertise in telecom business and data management,” he told this portal.
The seed funding in OnOnPay in 2015 was the first investment by Captii Ventures in Vietnam, which has since then invested in AZStack, a platform similar to Slack, and IoT solutions provider for agriculture MimosaTEK.
Meanwhile, Gobi Partners also had its maiden activity in Vietnam earlier this year, co-investing $500,000 into customized tour service Triip.me.
Prior to that, the firm had funded Offpeak, Malaysian dining app that entered Vietnam last year.