Vietnam-based consumer lending firm F88 has raised about 140 billion dong ($6 million) from existing investors Mekong Capital and Granite Oak to reach a valuation of 2.1 trillion dong ($91 million).
The follow-on capital injection will help F88, which operates 180 stores currently, expand its branch network, said the company’s chairman and CEO Phung Anh Tuan. “Growing from 11 branch locations when we invested in December 2016, F88 has 180 branches today and is quickly emerging as one of the fastest growing financial service companies in Vietnam,” commented Chris Freund, partner at Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital.
The fund manager invested in F88 through the $112.5-million Mekong Enterprise Fund III (MEF III), a 2016 vintage vehicle. While the fund has so far announced nine investments, Mekong Capital is in the market for MEF IV, which has a $200 million target corpus and a $250 million hard cap.
F88 had raised its second equity round in 2018 from Dublin-based investor Granite Oak Advisors, which then valued the financial service company at 1 trillion dong. “Since our initial investment in 2018, F88’s performance has consistently surpassed our expectations with respect to growth, loan portfolio quality and profitability. Investing in this (latest) growth equity round was, therefore, an obvious choice for us,” said Simon Wagner, managing partner at Granite Oak. Since 2019, F88 has also raised over 200 billion dong ($8.5 million) from bond issuance.
In addition to offering lending services through its pawn shops, F88 provides other financial services such as life and non-life insurance, bill payments and mobile money and e-wallet top-ups.
By Nguyen Thị Bich Ngoc @ dealstreetasia