Vietnam’s earned wage access (EWA) provider Nano announced that it has raised $6.4 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A round led by Openspace, the early backer of Gojek, Kumu, and Finhay.
New investors that participated include Partech Partners, Tekton Ventures, KVision, IT Farma and Sketchnote Partners. Existing backers Golden Gate Ventures, FEBE Ventures, FJLabs, Venturra, TO Ventures, ACE & Company and Goodwater Capital also joined.
Following the funding, Nano is seeking to offer a broader range of benefits solutions and become the first and most flexible go-to financial platform for low-income workers in the country. Nano is already working with some of the country’s most pioneering employers, enabling thousands of workers to access on-demand salary payments through its flagship app, Vui.
The strategic expansion of services fits well with businesses’ changing needs, as they seek ways to better engage their employees and protect their workforce in turbulent times.
“Nano is already emerging as the leader in the EWA space in Vietnam, and we recognise the immense potential that exists in the country, as workers and employers both struggle with their own challenges. Those workers need more flexible access to their earnings in volatile financial times, and employers need an edge in attracting a shortfall of talent,” said Jessica Pouleur, Partner at Openspace.
Founded in 2020, Nano is now expanding at a critical moment when both employers and employees are vulnerable. The business was founded with a clear mission to plug the payday gap and empower low-income workers to take control of their financial lives.
This opportunity is significant given that millions of workers in Vietnam live paycheck-to-paycheck and struggle with cash flow constraints at the end of each month. Without viable options, millions are forced to resort to predatory financial products, like loan sharks and payday loans, which charge annualized interest rates between 300% to 500%.
This issue is being further accentuated now because the pandemic and global macro crises are combining to increase the cost of living to the point that more underbanked families are edging closer to the brink of poverty and irreconcilable levels of debt.
With no clear financial lifeline, hundreds of thousands are leaving the big cities and industrial parks to move back to their provincial hometowns. As a result, many employers, especially in the manufacturing sector, face an enormous labor shortage, contributing to the well-reported challenges in the global supply chain.
Nano has now evolved its solution (Vui App) to address the challenges of both audiences. On the one hand, it allows workers to access their wages instantly when needed. On the other, it provides employers with a new cost-effective flexible benefits platform, which will keep their employees engaged and happy, giving them an edge in attracting prospective employees with a more differentiated offer.
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