Vietnam FINAL

Vietnam startup M_Service, the company behind the mobile e-wallet MoMo, announced today it has raised a US$28 million Series B round from Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) and global investment bank Goldman Sachs.

SCPE invested the bulk of the round by contributing US$25 million. Goldman Sachs added US$3 million to the round, as confirmed to e27 by Standard Chartered.

In 2013, Goldman Sachs invested US$5.75 million into MoMo and decided to re-invest because, as said by Terence Ting, Head of Asia Private Investments, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners,

“Since our initial investment in 2013, MoMo has demonstrated strong growth and successfully expanded across Vietnam. Our additional investment in this second round of funding further verifies and symbolises our conviction in the company’s strong future growth prospects.”

MoMo claims over one million e-wallet customers; markets itself as an over-the-counter (OTC) remittance and payment platform. According to the company it processes millions of transactions for a customer base that is 2.5 million people strong.

Also Read: 500 Startups launches US$10M micro-fund for Vietnam

The platform has over 100 services (such as money transfer, bill payment and m-commerce). It has hired over 4,000 OTC agents across Vietnam who, in large part, are meant to help facilitate transactions for people living in areas with a weak banking infrastructure.

MoMo models itself off companies operating in Bangladesh, the Philippines and Kenya — all countries with large OTC/remittance economies.

“We will accelerate MoMo’s rapid growth by continuing to invest in the launching of new products and services, expanding bank and merchant connectivity, and extending the nationwide installation of MoMo point-of-sale terminals at retail outlets,” said M_Service CEO Pham Thanh Duc.

Vietnam has, in some respects, been one of the leaders of Southeast Asia’s startup scene to the first three months of 2016.

US$28 million dollars is a large investment for Vietnam, but based on 2015, it may wind up being one of the biggest rounds in all of Southeast Asia. Last year, US$28 million would have placed MoMo above Taiwan’s Appier (ninth largest round of 2015) and been the sole Vietnamese representative in the top-10.

The news also contributes to the narrative of a startup scene that is seemingly heating up, as 10 days ago 500 Startups announced a US$10 million micro-fund targeted towards the country.

Co-working space Toong has also raised a seven-digit round in March and a month earlier Triip bagged a nice little seed funding.

“I believe that our broad international network, coupled with our full suite of innovative, customised products and services, will support the development of Vietnam’s fintech industry, of which MoMo is an integral part, in achieving its growth aspirations,” said Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam) CEO Nirukt Sapru.

Also Read: Startup Spring: A busy time ahead for Vietnam’s startups

Standard Chartered will also work with MoMo to provide ‘Straight2Bank’ wallet payments for corporate clients in Vietnam.

MoMo was launched in 2014.

Image Credit: Pixabay