Momo, a Vietnam-based FinTech company that provides users with digital payment options, has reportedly received a very large Series C investment from American private equity firm Warburg Pincus.
The exact size of the investment isn’t being released, but Pham Thanh Duc, CEO of M-Service, which is Momo’s parent company, said the amount sets a new record for funding. One report says the deal could be worth as much as $100 million, but Pham declined to comment on the amount.
Southeast Asia has lately been a hotspot for global investing, and companies like Alibaba and Tencent have dropped hundreds of millions of dollars in the region.
Although the numbers have not been disclosed for many big Vietnam FinTech deals, one of the biggest last year was $50 million to eCommerce outfit Tiki, from the Chinese company JD.com. Vietnam has a market of almost 100 million people, about 25 percent of whom are under 25 years old.
Momo began by offering simple digital payments in an electronic wallet app, but it has expanded into bill payments and mobile top-up. It’s also grown into more recreational areas like movie tickets and travel, and allows for payments at 100,000 points around the country.
Pham said the company is working on a credit scoring system to help introduce users to financial services, in tandem with financial institutions. He added that he based the direction of the app on Alibaba’s popular Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay services, which started as payment apps and expanded into more.
Momo works with Facebook and Google to allow payments, and the company is in talks with Apple, Pham said. Right now, he wants to keep the app in Vietnam.
“For the next two to three years, we are still very focused on the domestic market,” Pham said in an interview. “There’s no short-term plan to expand to other countries, [and] our main effort is focused on user base expansion in Vietnam.”