Financial service app MFast has raised $2.5 million in a funding round led by Ascend Vietnam Ventures, bringing its total capital funding to $4 million.
|MFast's founders Phan Thanh Vinh and Phan Thanh Long |
The round also saw the participation of Wavemaker and two other existing investors, Do Ventures and JAFCO Asia.
With the fresh funding, MFast is actively looking to hire talent across various areas including technology, marketing, and sales to upgrade its platform, expand its agent network, and deploy new business models.
Nearly 70 per cent of the Vietnamese population in the rural areas have limited or no access to banking, insurance, and credit-related services.
Due to the lack of financial literacy and credit history, this part of the population faces numerous challenges accessing financial services. Products like insurance, despite existing in Vietnam for more than 20 years, are still perceived in rural areas as a waste of money or perceived as catalysts for bad luck.
In September 2020, MFast was launched to tackle this pain point by connecting reputable financial and insurance institutions to its nationwide agent network. MFast’s agents serve as the middlemen in introducing, educating, and distributing financial and insurance products to the end customers in rural areas.
“With a nationwide agent network, MFast reaches underserved populations, helping them overcome challenges in accessing financial services and breaking down prejudice towards insurance – a crucial aspect of a developed society. At the same time, we create benefits for our agents and partners. MFast provides agents opportunities to earn extra income while helping partners expand the insurance and financial services in the peripheral and rural areas,” said Phan Thanh Long, CEO and co-founder of MFast.
After more than two years of operations, MFast has helped nearly 600,000 people, nearly 80 per cent of who are living in rural areas, access financial and insurance services.
MFast has also increased the income for more than 92,000 agents across 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam. In 2021, the total amount of commissions MFast paid to its agents reached more than $2.6 million.
Thao Nguyen, senior investment manager at Ascend Vietnam Ventures said, “The market potential, MFast team’s great execution capabilities, and its significant social impact are the reasons we are keen to support MFast in putting its mission into reality. Throughout its agent banking model, MFast promotes financial inclusion in the peripheral and rural areas of Vietnam, contributing a great part to the sustainable development of the country's financial system.”
This new capital will be used to develop technology and data analysis systems that can generate consumer credit ratings, expand MFast's agent network, and experiment with new business models.
This new technology will increase automation when evaluating, appraising, and approving financial products for consumers. MFast also plans to expand to other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Thailand.