F88 Investment JSC announced that it successfully raised a Series C investment of $50 million. The two main investors in this round are Vietnam-Oman Investment Fund and the Mekong Enterprise Fund IV.
The fresh funds will be invested in technology, data analytics and data science, brand building and acquiring new customers, and developing human resources as well as attracting new talents.
Phung Anh Tuan, chairman of the Board of Directors and general director of F88, said, “Vietnam-Oman Investment Fund (VOI), representing the Kingdom of Oman's investment agency (Oman Investment Authority - OIA), aspires to expand its investment in microfinance in Vietnam to provide the underbanked and unbanked population with access to small loans for their emergency needs."
"Mekong Enterprise Fund IV (MEF IV) has the same interest to help improve the quality of financial services to retail consumers in Vietnam. In 2022, F88 was awarded the highest level of Customer Protection certificate by the Centre for Financial Inclusion (formerly known as The Smart Campaign) for 2022-2025. We are among a few private companies in the small lending business that can satisfy strict investment criteria by VOI and MEF IV in terms of social impacts," he said.
Vietnam-Oman Investment Fund is the lead investor in this round, while this is the third announced investment from Mekong Capital’s funds in F88, following its two earlier investments announced in 2017 and 2020.
Nguyen Xuan Giao, investment director at VOI said, “As an impact investor, VOI’s investment thesis is to provide growth capital for companies that generate beneficial socio-economical and environmental impact on the community. Since its inception in 2009, VOI has disbursed over US$300 million in sectors such as renewable energy, clean water, healthcare, education and agriculture. The capital contribution to F88 is our first investment in the financial services sector in Vietnam. This demonstrates our confidence in the company’s business model and growth potential, as well as the social benefits that F88 can bring.”
Chris Freund, founder of Mekong Capital said, "When we announced Mekong Enterprise Fund III’s investment in F88 at a Press Conference in Hanoi in January 2017, F88 had 15 store locations. A reporter asked me if F88 would be the next Mobile World, and I replied that F88 had a high chance of being as successful as Mobile World."
"Six years later, in March 2023, our latest fund, MEF IV, is investing in one of the largest lending companies in Vietnam. With a strong team of co-founders who were very open-minded and willing to transform themselves, I have great confidence in the continued growth and success of F88. I can rely on F88 and its team to be a model of what works best to reliably grow a business and achieve its vision,” he added.
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The investment capital from Granite Oak – an investment fund from Europe – will help Hanoi-based pawn shop chain F88 to expand.
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Phung Anh Tuan, chairman cum CEO of F88 – a major pawnshop chain in Vietnam – revealed that the company is aiming for a market valuation of roughly $1 billion if its plan to go public in 2024.
By Thanh Van