The Mekong Capital-backed pawnshop chain F88 has raised growth capital from Granite Oak, a European investment firm, according an announcement on November 27.

“The new growth capital will be invested in our expansion in Ho Chi Minh City and to increase the loan book at 45 of our stores,” said F88’s CEO Mr. Phung Anh Tuan. “We also launched our first three stores in Ho Chi Minh City this week and are on track to have 300 stores nationwide by 2021.”

“F88 leads the consumer secured lending market in Vietnam, providing fast, smart, safe and friendly financial solutions to individual customers,” said Mr. Simon Wagner, CEO of Granite Oak. “F88 has good corporate governance, a strong management team, a strong company culture, and a robust IT platform. Vietnam’s consumer lending market is newly-developed and highly-fragmented and has large room for growth. We decided to invest in F88 to scale up the company and capture this growth.”

F88 has also officially signed partnership deals with Payoo and Momo to provide convenient financial services such as utility bill payments, e-wallet top ups, and withdrawals at all F88 stores.

F88 was established in 2013, pioneering the professionalization of pawn services in Vietnam, bringing fast, reliable and professional financial solutions to consumers, and disrupting the traditional pawn market. It received investment from Mekong Capital in 2016.

It currently provides loans based on collateral such as motor cars, motorbikes, mobile phones, and laptops. The company is also operating 45 stores in Hanoi and Vietnam’s north. Its competitive advantage lies in its professional management team with a strong commitment to bringing customers reliable, professional, friendly and fast financial services and changing social perceptions about the traditional pawn shop market.

Granite Oak is a Dublin-based investment firm operating across Europe with a wide variety of investments and actively providing senior debt funding for investment transactions. Over the years it has successfully invested in hotels, leisure facilities, commercial projects, and finance. The Granite Oak team has extensive expertise and market knowledge gained from working across multiple roles within the lending industry. Their debt advisory arm also specializes in raising money, with a strong network of financial institutions and debt funds.