Vietnam: Loan comparison platform BankGo raises seed funding

Vu Viet Hung, founder and CEO of BankGo.

BankGo, Vietnamese loan comparison website that follows the model of CompareAsia, has raised an undisclosed seed round to acquire more users and develop its product offerings, it announced Tuesday.

Financial details of the funding were not disclosed, but the startup said the investor was a director at a local investment fund.

Having launched in closed beta version in March 2016, it has recently started operating in open beta version, the platform allows borrowers to compare and select financial services at best interest rates for personal loans (including housing, car, consumer loans) and credit cards.

The company said that it has already seen $250,000 worth of loans booked via the platform and has secured partnership with almost 40 local banks. It targets to help lend $4 million to the domestic small business within the next 12 months.

Acting as a selling arm for banks, BankGo charges a commission fee on each successful loan application or the opening of a new credit card account, while the service is free for borrowers.

Rather than simply listing different services offered by banks for comparison on the website, the startup’s system suggests the most relevant loan conditions for users based on their profiles, as well as helps banks easily connect to more customers.

As more financial institutions in Vietnam are looking to tap into the retail banking sector, consumer lending has become a huge market with $15.12 billion sales volume in 2015.

“We want to contribute to making the financial information system in Vietnam more transparent, with better banking services, and making financial products in Vietnam easy to buy,” said Vu Viet Hung, founder and CEO of BankGo.

The Vietnamese central bank has said the country’s credit growth this year could reach 21.82 per cent, surpassing the target of 20 per cent set earlier. It is also higher than last year’s growth of 17.26 per cent.

In Ho Chi Minh City alone, loans worth a total of VND178.11 trillion ($7.98 billion) have been disbursed to more than 19,150 businesses so far in 2016.

The growth of the bank lending sector, buoyed by the increasing capital demand, has seen the rise of fintech startups to a number of over 30 companies in Vietnam, with business models expanding to a variety of verticals instead of focusing on payment, such as personal finance, bitcoin, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.

Also read:

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

Vietnam poses long-term opportunities for nascent fintech industry

Dragon Capital, StanChart join hands to launch Vietnam Fintech Club to develop nascent sector

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.