Vietnam mobile wallet MoMo raises about $100 million, aims for IPO

By Phuong Nguyen

HANOI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Vietnam's biggest e-wallet company, MoMo has raised at least $100 million from six global investors, including Warburg Pincus, as part of plans to become a "super-app" and go public by 2025, the company and a source said on Wednesday.

Financial technology, an attractive investment area in the country of nearly 98 million people, has gained more traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, with retail moving online and consumers looking for more contactless payment options.

"The amount was not disclosed due to our strict agreement with investors but this deal size is somewhat bigger than our previous fundraising of $100 million," Pham Thanh Duc, MoMo CEO, told Reuters.

"We hope to go public in the 2021-2025 period, possibly in 2025. For us, IPO is a must," Duc said of the prospect of an Initial Public Offering, adding it was too early to discuss on which bourse MoMo might list.

A source familiar with the matter also told Reuters the e-wallet company had raised about $100 million from the deal.

The latest funding would support the growth of MoMo as an all-in-one smartphone application offering multiple services, which have proved successful in countries like China and Indonesia.

Such "super-apps" include Grab in Singapore, and Indonesia's Gojek.

Momo is Vietnam's largest e-wallet by users and aims to double those to 50 million in the next two years. It said the latest funding round was co-led by Warburg Pincus, its largest backer, and Goodwater Capital LLC.

Affirma Capital Singapore PTE, Kora Management, Macquarie Capital and Tybourne Capital Management have also invested.

Although cash remains king in Vietnam, the number of mobile payments reached nearly 700 million by end-August in 2020, up 980% against in the same period of 2019, official data showed. (Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Additional reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore; Editing by Martin Petty)

2021-01-13 08:37:54

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