Vietnam’s F88 secures $6m in funding to accelerate growth of its lending platform

Fri Jun 12, 2020 - 7:47am GMT+0000
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The lending platform based in Hanoi has raised roughly 140 million dong (US$6 million) in funding from Mekong Capital and Granite Oak.

Established in 2013, F88 are pioneers in professionalizing pawn services in Vietnam. The startup currently provides convenient loans and financial services on a diverse set of assets such as vehicles, electronics like laptops and mobile phones, jewellery, etc. The startup only lends assets and does not provide unsecured mortgages.

Currently, F88 also provides financial services such as bills payments, e- wallet top ups, as well as distributing life and non- life insurances.

The startup is said to be valued at 2.1 million dong (US$90.7 million) after closing its third round of growth investment. F88 plans to utilize the funding in expanding its network branches as well as to further increase the growth of existing locations, said CEO Phung Anh Tuan.

With 180 locations across cities and provinces in Vietnam, F88 first began to thrive in January 2017 after receiving investors from Mekong Capital and Granite Oak. Financial details of this round of investment were unpublished. However, this is considered a breakthrough as F88 strives towards its ambitious vision of being the No. 1 pawn service provider in Vietnam with more than 300 locations by 2020.

CEO Phung Anh Tuan also said that it is expected to double the scale from 200 stores in 2020 to 300 stores in 2021. The net sales is also expected to increase exponentially, reaching 1,619 billion dong in 2021. This follows a revenue growth rate of 189% per year for the five years (2017- 2021).

The second equity round raised by F88 in 2018 from Dublin- based investor Granite Oak Advisors valued the lending platform at 1 trillion dong.

According to Simon Wagner who is the managing partner at Granite Oak, F88’s performance has consistently surpassed expectations with respect to growth, loan portfolio quality and profitability since their initial investments in 2018.

In 2019, F88 reported to accumulate disbursements of 1.5 trillion dong and is expected to disburse nearly 3 trillion dong in 2020, doubling compared to 2019.

As of early March this year, F88 claims to have successfully secured corporate bonds worth 200 billion dong (over US$8.5 million).

In September 2019, Client Protection Certificate by SmartCampaign was granted to F88 as an international initiative to guarantee just and trustworthy customer treatment in financial services platforms.

The company also has partnerships with local payment platforms like Payoo and MoMo e-wallet.

Despite the global health pandemic, F88 proceeds to captivate major investors’ attention. This month alone, one noteworthy funding round that took place in the country was a US$130 million funding round for Tiki, an e- commerce company.