The majority of the Vietnamese population lives in rural areas and often lacks access to financial services as banks and other institutions open most of their physical locations in cities. MFast wants to change that with what it claims to be Vietnam’s premier financial services delivery network. The company today announced that it has raised $6 million in its Series A funding round, led by Wavemaker Partners. The round also benefited from the participation of new investors Finnoventure Fund I (managed by Krungsri Innovate) and Headline Asia, alongside historical backers Do Ventures, JAFCO Asia and Ascend Vietnam Ventures.
This brings MFast’s total raised in the six years since launch to $10 million, including a $1.5 million pre-Series A TechCrunch round covered in June 2021. MFast’s network currently includes 160,000 active agents working with customers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities around the world. Vietnam. So far, it has served more than one million users in Vietnam. The company will use its new funding to expand its operations in Vietnam, with plans to expand outside the country, starting with the Philippines, by next year.
MFast helps customers access financial services, including loans and insurance, as well as big-ticket items like household appliances from brands that don’t typically open branches in rural areas. Its agents join MFast to earn extra income and have an agent app that serves as a “mini-CRM” by MFast.
The company was launched in 2017 as a fintech brand DigiPay by twin brothers Long Phan and Vinh Phan and currently maintains partnerships with financial institutions like UOB, SHBFinance, TPBank.
Long Phan told TechCrunch that he and Vinh were born in a Tier 3 city near the Cambodian border and moved to Ho Chi Minh City to complete their undergraduate degrees. “Having lived in both rural and urban areas, we have witnessed the challenges people from backgrounds like us face in accessing formal financial services,” he said. At the same time, they also saw the challenges that people in their hometown face when trying to get a higher education and build a career.
MFast was created to help agents get started in financial advice and counseling work, while giving consumers access to bank accounts, loans, insurance and other financial products. Agents, who benefit from online training sessions and offline workshops, help end customers open CASA bank accounts, loans, credit cards, insurance or purchase appliances with financing options interest-free purchase.
The company’s new funding will be used for its proprietary technology. Phan said MFast plans to roll out new features such as its Agent360 profile portal, credit scoring engine, AI fraud detector and an end-user app. It plans to expand into the Philippines while expanding its agent network in Vietnam. Most of MFast’s agents come from referrals, or “agent-get-agent,” alongside MFast’s online acquisition strategies through SEO and performance marketing. Phan says potential agents can download the MFast app and sign up in four minutes.
MFast competes with companies that work as agents for financial institutions, but Phan said most of them lack technology integration or apps. It also competes with a tech startup called The Bank, but Phan said The Bank is still relatively new to the market and uses a comparison website, allowing users to compare financial products and charge a fee per lead. generated on its platform.
MFast differentiates itself through its network of agents and its established base of financial institutions, which it continues to expand. It also uses technology to help agents work more efficiently by ensuring transparency in every interaction with stakeholders such as end users and capturing data such as user demographics, preferences and financial status. This data allows MFast to create a credit rating engine, a sales engine and a product development strategy that includes the creation of exclusive products.
In a statement regarding the investment, Phuong Tran, Director of Wavemaker Partners, said, “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.