Digital payment firm Vietnam’s second startup unicorn

By Thanh Duong   December 1, 2020 | 05:24 pm PT
Digital payment firm Vietnam’s second startup unicorn
Customers pay with a smartphone app of VNPay. Photo courtesy of VNPay.
VNPay has become the second unicorn startup in Vietnam and one of 12 companies in Southeast Asia with a valuation of $1 billion.

The payment company was listed as a unicorn in the recent "e-Conomy SEA 2020" report by Google and its partners, alongside well known firms like Indonesia’s ride-hailing firm Gojek and Singapore’s e-commerce platform Lazada.

VNPay, which manages a network of payment systems using QR codes in major cities, is currently partnering with over 40 banks and 20,000 companies. The company has over 15 million monthly users who access its app to transfer money, pay utility bills and buy bus tickets.

The company was one of the startups that attracted the highest investments in the Southeast Asian fintech industry last year, with a total of $1.7 billion being poured into this industry, up 40 percent from 2018, the Google report said.

VNPay reportedly received $300 million from Japan’s Softbank Vision Fund and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC last year.

The first Vietnamese startup with a valuation of over $1 billion was tech firm VNG in 2014. Its valuation has now increased by over 50 percent to $1.5-1.7 billion.

Vietnam targets having five unicorn tech firms by 2025 and 10 by 2030 as part of its Industry 4.0 advancement plans, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said in a report last year.

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