Below is our recent interview with Nguyen Anh Quan, Co-Founder and CEO of Gimo.
Q: This is the first time we have spoken. Can you provide a brief overview of Gimo?
A: Gimo is Vietnam’s fintech startup that provides earned income access to underbanked workers. The company was founded in 2019 by two Millennials Nguyen Van Ngoc and Nguyen Anh Quan, formerly seasoned professionals in banking, finance, and technology, and some experience in entrepreneurship. With two-thirds of Vietnam’s working population not owning a bank account or having limited access to the formal lending system, they see an opportunity to make a difference.
Gimo plays the role of an intermediary between financial institutions and businesses to give workers instant access to their earned income ahead of their scheduled payday. Users could request income payment and track earnings through a mobile app that is integrated into their companies’ human resource management and payroll systems.
Q: What are the key benefits of your company for workers?
A: Workers get to access the money they need to finance cash flow emergencies, thus avoiding costly financial services such as long-term, high-ticket-size bank loans or high-interest rate loans. Gimo helps them financially secure, thus more satisfied with the job and more likely to stay.
Q: Do you have a plan to expand your services outside Vietnam?
A: While EWA is gaining ground in the world, the market is still rather infant here in Vietnam. There have been only a few players, most being at an early stage like ours. But the potential is huge. We’re having the opportunity to tap into dozens of millions of underbanked people here and bridge the country’s financial inclusion gap. In the next 3 – 5 years, Gimo hopes to establish our position as an EWA market leader in Vietnam, with a focus on giving our users the best in-app experience. We will of course enter other markets when the time is right.
Q: How has COVID-19 affected your company?
A: While COVID-19 has affected businesses of all sizes, we are very fortunate to stay afloat so far (touch wood). Gimo has recently secured seed funding from local capital firm ThinkZone Ventures, university-led BK Fund and some strategic angel investors.
We also see stronger needs for financial services like EWA driven by the pandemic. It showed us that within the broader workforce, regardless of whether people are paid full time or part-time, a majority don’t have enough savings or cash in their hands to finance short-term expenses.
Q: What can we expect from you later in 2021? What is your plan?
A: This year, we are accelerating our product development, both back-end and front end, as well as expanding outreach activities to our clients and partner. By the end of 2021, we hope to provide our end-users with a more friendly app with a loyalty program built-in and a fully optimized operating system. We are working closely with local banks, insurance companies, and telco companies to come up with new fascinating products, services for the working people.