21.12.2021, 15:40

Vietnam’s biggest e-wallet gains unicorn status with $200M raise to change the way

Vietnam’s biggest e-wallet, MoMo, said on Tuesday it had raised $200 million in its latest funding round as it looks to widen the gap with dozens of other digital payment startups in a hotly contested race awash with investor funding.

According to a report by Nikkei, the investment, a Series E round led by Mizuho, puts MoMo among a handful of unicorns in Vietnam, with the Japanese bank injecting $170 million for a 7.5% stake in the company. This values the e-wallet company at $2.27 billion.

Related: Vietnam’s e-wallet Gpay completed Series A investment with KB Financial Group

MoMo will use the cash to invest in other Vietnamese companies, expand service to millions of vendors and enlarge its user base into rural areas. The app maker says it has 31 million users in the Southeast Asian country of nearly 100 million people, up from 25 million reported in August.

MoMo aims “to improve the life of the Vietnamese people and merchants through technology, by giving them access to superior, simpler and affordable financial solutions,” co-CEO Nguyen Manh Tuong said.

Goldman Sachs-backed ZaloPay, Grab’s Moca and Softbank-backed VNPay also compete in Vietnam’s digital payments market.

Ward Ferry, Goodwater Capital and Kora Management partook in MoMo’s latest fundraising, joining previous investors Warburg Pincus, Macquarie Capital, Affirma Capital and Tybourne Capital Management.

Investors expect the payments companies to go public, potentially in the U.S., though MoMo and VNPay-owner VNLife say they have no immediate plans to list. Zalo owner VNG has delayed a public offering for years, while Grab debuted on the Nasdaq on Dec. 2, only to see share values drop 21% on the first day after a SPAC-fueled investor frenzy, according to Nikkei

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