Vietnamese investment app Infina announces it has closed an oversubscribed $2 million seed round with the participation of Saison Capital, Venturra Discovery, 1982 Ventures, 500 Startups, Nextrans, executives at Google and Netflix, and other angel investors.
|Infina is tapping into the growing demand for high-yield investment in the Vietnamese middle class |
Infina is tapping into a growing opportunity in the retail investment space in Vietnam. The country of 97 million, more than 75 per cent of whom are internet users transacting money digitally, but roughly 3.14 million invest in stocks or 3.2 per cent of its population. While capital investment penetration remains relatively low, it is three times higher than Vietnam’s neighbour Indonesia with roughly one per cent penetration – and the number is growing especially among millennials. According to the Vietnam Securities Depository, approximately 500,000 trading accounts opened in the first five months of 2021, a 20 per cent record jump against the figure for the full year 2020.
The unprecedented surge in capital market participation results from a combination of factors prompted in part by the pandemic: increasing digital adoption during various stages of lockdowns, emerging interests in diversified asset portfolio to hedge against post-pandemic uncertainty, and a series of interest rates cut by the Central Bank which shied people away from term deposits to look for higher returns elsewhere.
To address that demand, “Infina is building the ‘Robinhood of Vietnam’ to make investment accessible, easy, and engaging for the country’s middle and lower classes,” said Infina founder and CEO James Vuong. Infina’s customers are primarily millennials aged 25 to 40 who would save or invest their disposable income on family planning, child education, early retirement, and so on.
The majority of Vietnamese previously let their money sit in risk-free checking accounts or freeze in long-term real estate. However, millennial investors are shifting toward higher-yield asset categories with smaller required investments. “As such, Infina allows users to make a contribution for as low as $25 into a broad range of assets including savings, term deposits, mutual funds, and fractionalised real estate,” added James.
Launched in January 2021 with an easy-to-use user interface and in-app educational content, Infina currently serves tens of thousands of users. Amid the pandemic, the startup has been faring well with assets under management rallying fourfold. Infina’s financial partners include some of the country’s largest fund managers, including Dragon Capital Vietnam, ACB Capital, Mirae Asset Fund Management, and Viet Capital Asset Management.
Vietnam’s Infina is the latest to join the boom of investment apps across the region, which has seen capital pouring into China’s Futu, India’s Groww, Indonesia’s Ajaib and Stockbit, and the like. The segment is attracting investors’ attention as democratising investment shows the scalability of a previously constrained market segment of high-net-worth individuals and institutions.
The fresh funding will be used to fuel Infina’s growth and expand product offerings. Infina is built with regional aspirations, however, for the immediate term, it continues focusing on Vietnam as there are plenty of growth opportunities.