MoMo targets Vietnamese SMEs in its super app quest

Image credit: Momo

Accounting for over 53% of Vietnam’s digital payments, MoMo has become a leader in Southeast Asia’s fintech space as it aims to become the next big super app in the region.

In 2021, the startup hit $17 billion in annual payments from around 23 million accounts and 10,000 stores across the country.

A report by DealStreetAsia Vantage Point compares MoMo to Indonesia’s OVO, which is now 79% owned by Grab. MoMo, meanwhile, is an independent player that has rapidly become a household name in Vietnam, where the population has a high banking penetration of 70%, compared to its neighbors.

MoMo is one of just four tech unicorns in Vietnam with a business focused on a fast-growing sector – and with its ambitions to be a super app, the startup has been adding more financial services to its platform.

In recent months, the firm has been working to capture markets in areas such as payments solutions for small businesses. It recently acquired Nhanh, a company working with 80,000 SME partners and offering a wide range of online and physical service options.

Around 40% of Vietnam’s GDP comes from small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 98% of all businesses in the country.

According to DealStreetAsia, MoMo’s aim is to capture values at each part of the SME value chain in order to help the company expand into rural areas and banks, resembling Bukalapak’s model in Indonesia.

As fintech booms in Vietnam, MoMo has become almost ubiquitous, with more than 80% of F&B outlets and 70% of supermarkets accepting payments via the app. MoMo’s strategy to target rural people and SMEs will grow its financial services business even further.

In December 2021, MoMo hit unicorn status after raising $200 million in its Series E funding round, including a $170-million investment from Japanese Bank Mizuho, which comprises 7.5% of the company’s stake. It became the country’s fourth unicorn, after VNPay, VNG, and Sky Mavis (of Axie Infinity fame).

MoMo’s greatest competition in digital payments comes from ViettelPay, a subsidiary of Vietnam’s largest telecom company, with a 25.2% market share.

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