The round, which was led by Goodwater Capital and Openspace Ventures, included participation from pre-seed investors Golden Gate Ventures, Venturra Discovery and FEBE Ventures Pte.
The app — called VUI — gives workers in Vietnam the ability to get their pay every day based on daily hours accrued instead of weekly or bi-weekly. The tool is also intended to help people avoid unscrupulous lenders charging exorbitant interest rates, some as high as 500 percent, according to Co-founder and CEO Dzung Dang, per Bloomberg.
Launched in 2020 and co-founded by Thang Nguyen, the technology startup is headquartered in Hanoi and incorporated in Singapore. Dang is a former Uber Vietnam general manager and ZaloPay CEO. Nguyen is the former chief technology officer at Focal Labs and SeeSpace.
More than 20,000 Vietnamese are using the app, which was created for people with a monthly income below 15 million dong ($650.73), the news outlet reported, per Dang.
Roughly half of the employees at a typical job join VUI as soon as it is made available by employers, the company said, per TechCrunch. Workers tend to use the service about three times per month.
Early access to earned wages is a concept that is now moving beyond the gig economy. AnyDay CEO Gerard Griffin said in a PYMNTS interview in September 2020 that the current market climate has piqued the interest of businesses seeking an easy way to give workers fast access to their money. The pandemic has led to an acceleration of digital payroll acceptance, which is now being optimized for employees.
The pandemic also triggered financial needs among workers who were faced with reduced hours, furloughs and other interruptions in household income. The startup DailyPay, for example, saw usage go up by 400 percent between March 14 and March 17 of last year.
May 13, 2021 at 05:06PM