Over the past years, Asia has emerged into one of the world’s leading fintech regions, recording the highest fintech revenues worldwide, data from Statista show. In the region, Vietnam is among the emerging fintech markets.
Vietnam has seen its fintech sector grow steadily amid increased customer adoption and sustained venture capital (VC) funding activity.
The number of new firms grew by over 180% between 2018 and 2022, and fintech funding reached US$720 million in 2021, a figure that made fintech one of Vietnam’s biggest tech segments that year by accounting for more than half of all VC funding secured.
Cashless payments, meanwhile, continued to see increased usage in 2022, soaring by 85% in volume and 31% in value, data from to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) show. Looking at card payments in particular, chip card transactions via the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) nearly tripled, a trend that was to the detriment of cash usage, where withdrawals processed through the NAPAS system decreased by half.
In this burgeoning fintech scene, several local companies are standing out from the crowd. These companies are making headlines for their strong growth and for attracting the interest of reputable investors.
To get a sense of Vietnam’s up-and-coming fintech leaders, we look today at the country’s top five most well-funded fintech companies. For this list, we focused solely on equity funding and used data from Tech in Asia, CB Insights and Dealroom.
VNLife – US$550 million
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Hanoi, VNLife is a holding company in Vietnam and the parent company of fintech firm VNPay.
A leading Vietnamese digital payment company, VNPay currently provides electronic payment services to more than 40 banks, five telecommunications companies and 20,000 businesses. The company’s products include VNPay-POS, an “all-in-one” payment solution for merchants, and VNPay-QR, a QR code payment solution integrated into more than 30 mobile banking applications and several e-wallets.
VNLife, which 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 services, has secured a total of US$550 million in funding so far. The sum includes a US$300 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC in 2019, and a US$250 million Series B in 2021.
M_Service – US$434 million
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, M_Service is the operator of MoMo, Vietnam’s leading mobile wallet. Designed for enhanced payments services, the app allows users to conduct seamless digital payments, make transfers, pay their bills, and more.
M_Service is one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in Vietnam and has set out aspirations to become a leading super app. As of the end of June 2022, it claimed more than 31 million users, 50,000 domestic partners, and 140,000 payment acceptance points nationwide in partnership with 70 banks and international cards.
M_Service is the second most valuable private companies in Vietnam, having raised a total of US$434 million and being worth US$2.27 billion, according to CB Insights and Dealroom. It’s backed by investors that include Mizuho Bank and Warburg Pincus.
Sky Mavis – US$311 million
Founded in 2018, Sky Mavis is a blockchain game developer based in Singapore and Vietnam, well-known for its blockchain game Axie Infinity, a digital collectible pet game built on the Ethereum blockchain.
In Axie Infinity, players can battle, raise, evolve, and trade fantasy creatures called Axies, which are visual representations of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) owned by the players. Each Axie has its own distinct look and attributes, and cannot be replicated.
Axie Infinity launched in early 2018, and it is now one of the highest-grossing blockchain games. In February 2022, Axie Infinity NFTs hit US$4 billion in all-time sales and had an average of 2.7 million monthly active players.
Sky Mavis secured a US$150 million Series C in April 2022, bringing its total funding to about US$311 million, data from Dealroom and CB Insights show. The company is valued at US$3 billion, making it the most valuable private technology startup in Vietnam.
Trusting Social – US$214 million
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, which aspires to democratize financial services and improve financial inclusion, 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, the Philippines 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 170 financial institutions and services providers including CIMB, Sacombank, UOB, UnionBank and Grab.
Trusting Social is an award-winning startup that is backed by Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, Kima Ventures and Genesis Alternative Ventures, amongst others. The startup has raised about US$214 million in funding so far, data from CB Insights and Dealroom show. Its latest round, a US$105 million Series D, was secured earlier this month.
Be Group – “Hundreds of millions US dollars”
Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, Be Group is the tech company behind the on-demand multi service platform Be. Striving to become a super app, Be currently provides a wide range of services including transportation, delivery, shopping, insurance, telco service bundles, and financial services.
The company ventured into the banking space through a partnership with VPBank. The deal culminated with the launch of Cake, a digital banking offering, in 2021. Cake provides a variety of products and services similar to a traditional bank, which include checking accounts, money transfers services, savings accounts and payment cards.
The company claims its innovative electronic know-your-customer (eKYC) system allows customers to sign contracts digitally and open an account in just about two minutes without having to visit a teller.
The company said in December 2018 that it had secured “hundreds of millions US dollars” of investments. A source told DealStreetAsia in September 2022 that the company was now looking to raise at least US$100 million in a new equity funding round.
Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash