Vietnam is one of Asia’s most dynamic startups scenes, a burgeoning ecosystem that’s risen on the back of the country’s booming digital economy, a young population willing to test and adopt new technology consumer services, and a surge in overseas funding.
In 2021, Vietnamese startups raised a total of US$1.5 billion, according to business consulting firm Nextrans Vietnam. Fintech led venture capital (VC) funding, making up 26.6% of all startup investments in 2021 and showcasing investors’ confidence in the prospects of financial innovations in the country.
Soaring fintech investments came on the back of rapid adoption of digital financial services amid COVID-19 restrictions. To get a sense of Vietnam’s up-and-coming fintech startups, we look today at seven fast-growing Vietnamese fintech companies that have made notable strives over the past year and which have attracted the interest of some of the world’s most prominent startup investors.
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Hanoi, VNLife is the parent company of fintech firm VNPay. A leading Vietnamese digital payment company, VNPay operates a network of nearly 200,000 locations nationwide, which accepts payments through the VNPay-POS, VNPay-QR and the VNPay-QR payment gateway.
VNPay-POS is an “all-in-one” solution, meeting all modern payment needs and assisting merchants in operation, cost optimization and revenue growth, and VNPay-QR is a QR code payment solution integrated into more than 30 mobile banking applications, the VNPay wallet and eight other e-wallets. VNPay claims VNPay-QR is the largest interoperable cashless payment network in Vietnam, with 22 million users.
VNLife runs an ecosystem comprising a wide portfolio of systems and services ranging from banking services and financial services, to e-commerce websites and flight booking service.
VNLife raised US$250 million in July 2021 in a round led by General Atlantic and Dragoneer Investment Group that gave the firm a valuation of over US$1 billion.
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, M_Service is the operator of MoMo, Vietnam’s leading mobile wallet that allows users to conduct seamless digital payments, make transfers, pay their bills, and more.
One of the fastest-growing fintech companies in Vietnam, M_Service strives to build a full-fledged financial ecosystem for users, small businesses, and financial services providers. As of June 2022, the company claimed more than 31 million users, 50,000 domestic partners, and 140,000 payment acceptance points nationwide.
M_Service is one the most well-funded and most valuable private companies in Vietnam, having raised a total of US$433.7 million and being worth US$2.27 billion, according to CB Insights. It’s backed by investors that include Mizuho Bank and Warburg Pincus.
Founded in 2018, Sky Mavis develops blockchain-based games and products, and is the creator of Axie Infinity, a digital pet universe and one of the most popular applications of cryptocurrency to date with over 2 million daily active users.
Axie Infinity is an online video game that allows players to collect and mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which represent digital pets known as Axies. These creatures can be bred and battled with each other within the game. Players of Axie Infinity can also purchase virtual land and other in-game assets as NFTs.
Sky Mavis is headquartered in Singapore, according to its LinkedIn page, and has an office in Ho Chi Minh City. The company has raised US$311 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, Paradigm and Mark Cuban, and is valued at US$3 billion, according to CB Insights.
Founded in 2013, Trusting Social is a provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered credit risk, identity and acquisition solutions to the lending industry. The company combines big data technology with social, web and mobile data, to enable lenders in emerging markets to serve consumers not covered by traditional credit bureaus.
Headquartered in Singapore and operating across Vietnam, Indonesia and India, Trusting Social claims it is the largest provider of credit risk profiles in Asia, covering more than 1 billion consumers through partnerships with over 130 financial institutions and services providers including CIMB, Sacombank, UOB, UnionBank and Grab.
It’s an award-winning startup that is backed by Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, Kima Ventures and Genesis Alternative Ventures, amongst others. Trusting Social secured a US$65 million Series C in April 2022.
Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City and established in 2015, Timo was the first company in Vietnam to offer a fee-free, easy and convenient digital banking experience.
Timo’s digital banking solution runs through a digital platform that allows users to open checking, savings and term deposits accounts remotely in just minutes. Users are provided with a free accompanying ATM card, and can also use the Timo mobile app to pay their bills, make mobile payments, and more. Other products provided by the company include a Visa credit card, buy now, pay later (BNPL) options, and loans, as well as insurance coverage and investment products offered by partners.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Hanoi, Finhay is a licensed brokerage company that runs a wealth management platform designed to allow individual investors to access financial products digitally. The platform utilizes machine learning (ML) to identify and recommend investments for investors. It started with fund certificates as its sole product before broadening its scope to stock trading, savings products, gold trading, insurance products and cashback schemes.
Finhay claims more than 2.7 million registered users, making it Vietnam’s leading digital investment platform. The company raised US$25 million in a Series B funding round in June, it’s only disclosed investment. It said it would use the proceeds to invest in strategic business expansion, talent acquisition and technology development. Its backers include Openspace Ventures and Vietnam Investments Group.
Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Hanoi, Nano Technologies is the operator of Vui, a mobile app that lets workers in Vietnam access their earned wages, and which provides employers with a cost-effective flexible benefits platform.
The company claims to serve over 100,000 workers from leading corporations such as FPT Retail, Central Retail, GS25 and Family Mart. In August, it secured a US$6.4 million pre-Series A to expand its solutions and hone in on large enterprises in the manufacturing sector, with a focus on garment, shoes, electronics and wood manufacturing. The new funding round came a year after Nano raised US$3 million in its seed funding round led by returning investors Golden Gate Ventures and Venturra Discovery.
Nano Technologies was featured in KPMG and HSBC’s 2022 top ten emerging tech giants in Vietnam.