OnOnPay raises pre-series A to get Vietnam hooked on mobile payments

By  for TechInAsia

Vietnamese mobile wallet and phone top-up startup OnOnPay topped up its own balance with a pre-series A round worth US$800,000, the company announced today.

The round is led by Asian venture capital firm Gobi Partners. Existing investor Captii Ventures participated. OnOnPay will use the funding to grow its user base and keep developing its tech.

We are changing the way people can manage their money.

Founded in early 2015, OnOnPay addresses the needs of unbanked people in a market where credit cards are not widely used. The startup offers both a web-based platform and a mobile app that allows users to top up their prepaid phones and win rewards like extra credit and coupons.

“A very big part of the population [in Vietnam] doesn’t have bank accounts and, consequently, cannot pay conveniently,” Sy Phong Bui, founder and CEO of OnOnPay, tells Tech in Asia. “We’re tapping into a market of 90 million inhabitants [of whom] only 30 percent are banked.”

The use of smartphones and the internet is quite widespread in the nation, which is the opportunity OnOnPay is going after. “We are changing the way people can manage their money, and [helping them] pay more conveniently and securely,” he adds.

The startup claims to have grown “tremendously” since its undisclosed, six-digit seed round in August 2015. Sy Phong doesn’t share any specific figures in this regard.

Jumping to the next billion

The startup had intended to continue growing within Vietnam and then look outward in Southeast Asia this year, with Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines in mind. The CEO doesn’t say if any of that is still happening.

Gobi Partners seems to believe in OnOnPay’s cross-border potential, in any case. “Not many companies are able to provide a solution to serve the ‘next billion population’ – people who are living beyond the cities but have the consumption power and are eager for more product and service options,” says Victor Chua, ASEAN investment director at Gobi. He believes it could work well “in emerging and frontier markets such as Cambodia, Indonesia, and Myanmar.”

It’s a bit crowded in Vietnam’s mobile payments space, with companies like Payoo, Baokim, and Vuathe all looking to offer alternative financial options to consumers.

OnOnPay was second runner-up at our Arena pitch contest last year in Singapore.

First appeared at TIA