Vietnam’s earned wage access (EWA) provider Nano Technologies has raised $6.4 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A round led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Openspace, according to an announcement.
Partech Partners, Tekton Ventures, KVision, IT Farma and Sketchnote Partners were the new investors in the round alongside existing backers Golden Gate Ventures, FEBE Ventures, FJLabs, Venturra, TO Ventures, ACE & Company and Goodwater Capital.
Founded in 2020, Nano Technologies lets workers in Vietnam access their earned wages through its VUI app. It also provides employers with a cost-effective flexible benefits platform.
Nano Technologies was founded by Dzung Dang, formerly a general manager at Uber and chief executive officer of ZaloPay, and Thang Nguyen, who previously served as chief technology officer at Focal Labs and SeeSpace.
The new funding round comes a year after Nano raised $3 million in its seed funding round in 2021 led by returning investors Golden Gate Ventures and Venturra Discovery.
The company claims that over 100,000 workers from leading corporations such as FPT Retail, Central Retail, GS25, Family Mart, Kangaroo and Truong Thanh Furniture are using the VUI App.
The company will use the proceeds to expand its solutions to become a complete flexible benefits platform for low-income workers. The app seeks to not only enable on-demand salary access for workers but also give them the ability to use these in different ways, such as to pay bills and buy phone cards.
“Nano is already emerging as the leader in the EWA space in Vietnam, and we recognise the immense potential that exists in the country, as workers and employers both struggle with their own challenges. Those workers need more flexible access to their earnings in volatile financial times, and employers need an edge in attracting a shortfall of talent,” said Openspace partner Jessica Pouleur.
“We are building a positive route for low and mid-income employees, giving them control over how they earn, how they get paid, and how they actively plan for the future they deserve,” Nano co-founder and CEO Dzung Dang said.
The global crisis and inflation are further driving the need for the EWA model as workers require flexible access to their earned wages to make ends meet. “As the EWA model is still relatively new to the market and in the early phase of adoption, we have not seen negative impacts of the global crisis on market development yet,” Dzung said.
With many employers in Vietnam hiring to expand coupled with an inflationary environment, EWA is proving to be beneficial to the majority of the workforce and also to companies who have to downsize the workforce, he added.
The EWA space in Southeast Asia has recorded several startup fundraising deals since the pandemic.
Last year, Vietnamese fintech startup GIMO, which offers on-demand payroll services for blue-collar workers, announced raising $1.9 million in a seed+ round led by Singapore’s Integra Partners.
In March this year, Indonesia-based earned wage access platform wagely raised pre-series A funding of $8.3 million led by East Ventures (Growth Fund). Meanwhile, GajiGesa raised $6.6 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A round led by MassMutual Ventures.
Other startups that have mushroomed in this space include Malaysia’s HariGaji and Pay:Watch as well as Singapore’s Circopay and GetPaid.