27/11/2018 – F88, a pawn shop operator based in Hanoi has successfully raised a new financing round from Dublin-based investor Granite Oak Advisors.
The information was revealed at the signing ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh city on Tuesday.
Financial details of the investment were not disclosed but F88 said the funding valued the firm at nearly VND1 trillion (about US$43.5 million).
This marks the first investment in Vietnam for Granite Oak, which has been investing in emerging markets across Europe and Africa in different industries including hotels, leisure, commercial, and finance.
It also runs a debt advisory arm that specializes in raising money and debt with a strong network of financial institutions and debt funds, according to information provided by F88.
“Vietnam’s consumer lending market is newly developed, highly fragmented and has large room for growth,” said Simon Wagner, the CEO of Granite Oak. “We decided to invest in F88 to scale up the company to capture the growth.”
Founded in 2013, F88 pioneered the commercialization of pawn services in Vietnam. Besides providing pawn services to a large number of consumers, F88 also provides loan services on diverse assets such as cars, motorcycles, mobile phones, laptops, and jewelry.
With this new investment, F88 will expand its chain from the existing 45 pawn stores in Ho Chi Minh City to 300 stores across the country by 2021.
Besides, F88 also plans to increase its outstanding loans. So far the startup claims that it had lend VND600 billion in 2017 and anticipates the figure to increase to VND1 trillion this year.
At the announcement ceremony, F88 also signed cooperation deals with Payoo payment gateway and Momo e-wallet to provide financial services to customers at all F88 stores nationwide.
In a related note, the pawn shop is also backed by Mekong Capital with its investments from its Mekong Enterprise Fund III in 2017.
This news is published on Reuters.