Japanese megabank Mizuho Bank is reported to invest around $170 million to acquire a 7.5 per cent stake in M-Service, the company behind e-wallet MoMo.
According to newswire Nikkei Asia, Mizuho Bank, one of Japan's three megabanks, would invest in M-Service, Vietnam's largest smartphone payment provider with MoMo e-wallet.
The Japanese financial institution is scheduled to invest up to $170 million by the end of the year to purchase 7.5 per cent ownership of the firm.
This is in line with Mizuho Bank’s strategic approach to ramp up its presence in the Southeast Asian country. Mizuho Bank, reported Nikkei Asia, has been lagging behind its counterparts (SMFG, MUFG) in terms of international investment, but it intends to start actively tapping into Asian growth regions.
In early November, MoMo was reported to raise between $100-200 million to become Vietnam’s latest unicorn (startup with a valuation of at least $1 billion).
In its fourth round of fundraising in January this year, Momo has bagged an undisclosed amount from three new overseas funds (US funds Goodwater Capital and Kora Management, as well as Australia's Macquarie Capital) and current owners Warburg Pincus (US), Affirma Capital (UK), and Tybourne Capital Management (Hong Kong).
As of July, MoMo claimed it made up 60 per cent of Vietnam’s mobile payment market share, handling $14 billion in transactions each year for more than 25 million customers.
“Mizuho Bank, Ltd. does not operate retail banking in Vietnam. However, we are developing and deploying a variety of technology-driven products throughout Asia in our Corporate Banking Division,” a Mizuho Bank representative told VIR in a previous interview.
Mizuho Bank is also a strategic shareholder of Vietnam’s state-owned lender Vietcombank.