Vietnamese Payments Startup, M_Service Secures $28m in Funding

Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs have invested $28m in M_Service.

Vietnamese startup M_Service, an operator of mobile e-wallet MoMo, has been revitalized by a duality of private equity investments from both Standard Chartered Plc and Goldman Sachs, collectively accounting for a figure of $28 million, according to a recent Reuters report.

MoMo is a smartphone app that helps provide e-wallet services and over-the-counter (OTC) remittance and payment platform to an aggregate customer base of 2.5 million people. The service itself also boasts more than 1 million mobile e-wallet customers.

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The latest investment by private-equity arms of Standard Chartered Plc and Goldman Sachs helps tap into a Vietnamese market that is on pace for steady growth in terms of cell phone and internet use. A recent government report showed that more than half of 90 million Vietnamese are internet users as of 2015, while the number of mobile phone subscribers in Vietnam grew 26% to 124 million during 2009-2013.

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In particular, Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) raised a figure of $25 million, with Goldman Sachs responsible for the other $3 million – this follows after an existing shareholder and strategic investment worth $5.75 million that the group made back in 2013.

The investment is important for M_Service as it will help develop and continue the growth trajectory of the group’s capabilities in the country, which hopes to capture more of the remittance market in Vietnam.

According to Bert Kwan, Head of ASEAN at SCPE, who is also slated to join MoMo’s board, in a recent statement on the investment: “It is extremely exciting to support MoMo’s broader mission of promoting financial inclusion across Vietnam.”

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