Warburg Pincus Bets On Vietnamese Mobile Payment Market Leader Momo’s Series C

Vietnamese mobile payments provider Momo has raised a Series C round led by the massive global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, according to various reports. Momo did not disclose details of the financing, but some outlets, including DealStreetAsia, are reporting that the round secures $100 million in additional operating capital to fund its development and expansion in Vietnam.

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The deal, which TechCrunch reports was finalized in 2018, comes amid rapid growth of VC interest in Asia-based payments and mobile payments companies. The chart below is based off of reported data in Crunchbase, which especially for seed and early-stage deals, is subject to reporting delays. Accordingly, we excluded pre-seed, seed, and angel funding types for the chart below.

Cumulative early and late-stage deal volume growth continued apace. Though it’s not included in the chart above, dollar volume spiked too. A surpassing majority of the over $17.2 billion in reported venture funding (which excludes deals of unknown dollar amounts) is attributable to a $14 billion Series C round raised by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial.

Even excluding that behemoth deal, the remaining $3.2 billion of 2018’s reported VC funding for Asia-based payments companies is still more than twice that of 2017’s total of roughly $1.3 billion. About half of the non-Ant Financial payments investment in 2018 went to just one other deal, a $1.5 billion Series E round raised by Go-Jek, an Indonesian ride-hailing and mobile payments company.

Momo In Vietnam

Pham Thanh Duc, CEO of Momo, told the Vietnam Economic Times that the new backing will help the startup maintain its leading position in the rapidly-growing electronic payments market in the country. “The company posted its largest ever transaction volume and number of active users in 2018,” he was quoted as saying. “We are excited to continue working with them to build out the country’s digital payments infrastructure, utilize technology to bolster financial inclusion, and provide ordinary Vietnamese with unprecedented levels of access to digital financial services at their fingertips.”

The Vietnamese mobile payments market is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Research firm Allied Market Research published a report indicating the industry will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2 percent, according to a press brief on the document’s contents. The report says Vietnam’s mobile payments market was valued at $16.05 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $70.94 billion by 2025.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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