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|US Vemani Group buys 20 per cent stake in Vietnamese fintech firm|
Established in December 2017, eLoan is a Peer – to – Peer (P2P) lending marketplace that matches investors with borrowers, allowing anyone to lend money directly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is the first P2P lending company in Vietnam focusing purely on serving SME clients with short-term loans.
As part of the agreement, Vemanti will execute a cash and stock exchange for 20 per cent equity interest in eLoan with options for further deals along with a corporate board seat.
The investment will be made through eLoan's parent company, Directus Holdings, a Nevada company. The transaction is expected to be closed in the third quarter of this year.
Trung Vo, CEO of eLoan, stated, "We see a $100 billion market with very little competition. The demand is unbelievable. We're out to acquire relationships, not clients. The idea is to help SMEs with short-term working capital, but the real objective is to embed other applications and to turn data into insights and gives clients the context they need for faster, better-informed business decisions as they grow. We're delighted to have Vemanti Group on board as an investor and a partner to help us expand beyond the local footprint."
The Asian Development Bank forecast Vietnam's economic growth at 7.1 per cent in 2018 and 6.8 per cent in 2019. With nearly 700,000 registered entities and growing at over 100,000 per annum, SMEs continue to play a major role in Vietnam's economy, accounting for 98 per cent of all enterprises, more than 40 per cent of GDP ($224 billion in 2017), and over 50 per cent of employment.
Regarding Vemanti, it is a technology-driven holding company that seeks to be active in high-growth and emerging markets. Its core strengths are in technology development and investment.
The firm drives growth through acquisition and investment in disruptive and foundational technologies by targeting early-stage companies that have market viable products or by starting a new subsidiary of its own. Strategically, it focuses mainly on blockchain applications combined with other emerging technologies, including machine learning/AI, security and the internet of things (IoT).