MFast boosts Vietnam’s financial inclusion with $6m from Wavemaker Partners and others

MFast, described as Vietnam’s prime financial services distribution network, has made headlines with its recent financial achievement.

The company has successfully raised $6m in its Series A fundraising round, according to a report from TechCrunch. Leading this investment was Wavemaker Partners, while other key players in the round included newcomers Finnoventure Fund I, managed by Krungsri Innovate, and Headline Asia. Also showing continued faith in the enterprise were previous investors Do Ventures, JAFCO Asia, and Ascend Vietnam Ventures.

At its core, MFast operates with the mission to bridge the financial services gap experienced by many in Vietnam, primarily in rural locales. Their network currently boasts 160,000 active agents, these agents serve customers throughout tier 2 and tier 3 cities across Vietnam.

Through this network, over a million Vietnamese have already benefited. Furthermore, the firm facilitates access to an array of financial services ranging from loans to insurance, as well as high-ticket items such as home appliances from brands typically absent in rural regions.

The fresh funding is earmarked for broadening MFast’s reach within Vietnam, with an ambitious plan to stretch its wings beyond national borders, setting its sights on the Philippines for next year.

MFast was birthed in 2017 as a subsidiary of fintech DigiPay by the entrepreneurial twin duo, Long Phan and Vinh Phan. Their impressive partnership portfolio includes financial behemoths like UOB, SHBFinance, and TPBank.

Long Phan spoke about the company’s origins, sharing with TechCrunch his personal experiences. He said, “Having lived in both rural and urban areas, we witnessed firsthand the difficulties people with backgrounds like us face in getting access to formal financial services.” Phan’s sentiments go beyond just finance, shedding light on the challenges of acquiring tertiary education and establishing careers in such areas.

Aimed at equipping agents for roles in financial consultancy, MFast facilitates consumers in accessing various financial tools like bank accounts, insurance, and more. With their new funding, MFast is gearing up for technological advancements, rolling out features such as its Agent360 profile portal, AI fraud detection, and an end-user app. Their vision also encompasses expanding to the Philippines while simultaneously enhancing their agent network within Vietnam.

Drawing a comparison with their competitors, Phan mentioned that while many serve as agents for financial institutions, not many possess tech integrations or dedicated apps. Their competition also includes tech startup, The Bank. However, Phan believes MFast holds an edge with its expansive agent network, continued collaboration with established financial institutions, and advanced technology ensuring transparency.

In his reaction to the recent investment, Wavemaker Partners principal Phuong Tran stated, “With its strong agent base and initial focus on financial products, MFast has achieved impressive results. Wavemaker is proud to strengthen our partnership with the company and support it as it enters its next phase of growth.”

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