Singapore-headquartered start-up MVLLABS Pte Ltd (MVL) announced that it had completed a Series A extension round for an undisclosed amount.
The round was led by South Korea’s second-largest commercial bank by assets and net income, Shinhan Bank Co Ltd, MVL said in a press release.
Seoul-based popular home living and furniture brand iloom Inc and Gyeonggi province-based aluminium die-casting company Samkee Automotive Co Ltd also took part in the round, it said.
MVL is behind blockchain-based zero-commission ride-hailing service TADA, which operates in Singapore, Cambodia (under the South Korean-owned MVL TADA Cambodia Co Ltd), and most recently, in Vietnam.
It said: “The financing will be used to fund its continued expansion within its existing markets and for development of the mobility ecosystem built on MVL’s blockchain protocol.
“The investment will enable MVL to capitalise on the growth of TADA, its zero-commission ride-hailing product, where drivers and riders strive towards a sustainable commuting future.
“Investments will be made into developing competencies to deliver innovative new products and services based on MVL’s blockchain.”
MVL CEO Kay Woo said: “With this investment, we can continue aggressively on our mission to build a sustainable and fairer mobility ecosystem.
“We recently launched TADA Delivery in Cambodia to help businesses and our drivers tide through this Covid-19 season. This has demonstrated how we can use technology to be a force for good.
“We thank our investors for the trust and sharing the same vision of a fair, sustainable and equitable mobility ecosystem.”
A Shinhan Bank spokesperson said: “MVL’s blockchain-based mobility platform has experienced great growth for its users in Southeast Asia over the past three years.
“With Shinhan Bank’s retail financial service capabilities, such as our e-wallet, we expect to create greater synergies that will be a win-win for both Shinhan and MVL.”
MVL’s flagship product TADA – which is the infinitive form of the Korean verb ‘ride’ – is the first ride-hailing service to take zero-commission from its drivers, and has more than 81,000 drivers and 550,000 riders registered in the three countries where it operates.
MVL said: “Mobility data such as transactions, movements, accidents and maintenance of vehicles are recorded and connected in a single MVL ecosystem. Users interact with MVL’s mobility data ecosystem on the blockchain through connected services such as TADA and other upcoming services.”
When TADA rolled out in the Kingdom on January 16, last year, MVL said Vietnam and Malaysia would be its next regional ports of call. Despite launching in Vietnam just five days later, no further plans to launch in Malaysia have been announced.
On December 3, MVL announced another Series A investment of $5 million led by leading South Korean venture capital firm SV Investment Corp.
Two of South Korea’s largest car parts manufacturers, Central Co Ltd (CTR) and SIMWON Inc also took part in the funding round.
Late last month, MVL TADA Cambodia Co Ltd launched TADA Delivery as a joint effort with the government to combat Covid-19.
“TADA is stepping in to help these businesses by launching TADA Delivery – a ‘final mile’ delivery solution that businesses can use to serve their customers wherever they are in Phnom Penh,” it said.
TADA Delivery uses an online platform, the first of its kind in the Kingdom, which allows businesses to book and track deliveries to their customers as well as manage payments collected by their drivers using cash or digital payments.
The Seoul-based Shinhan Bank, part of Shinhan Financial Group Co Ltd, entered Cambodia as Shinhan Khmer Bank Plc in 2007 under Registration No Co-3877/07E granted by the Ministry of Commerce, said its Annual Report 2012 filed to the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC).
Renamed to Shinhan Bank (Cambodia) Plc on August 20, 2018, it is currently headquartered in Prampi Makara district’s Monorom commune in Phnom Penh.
The NBC’s Annual Supervision Report 2019 said that, as of the end of last year, it employed 222 people at its six branches in the Kingdom – all in Phnom Penh.
Last year, it posted 1.844 trillion riel in total assets, up 78.8 per cent from 1.017 trillion riel in 2018. It logged 305.625 billion riel in paid-up capital (up 1.4 per cent), 32.658 billion riel in net profit (up 22.1 per cent), 223.811 billion riel in deposits (up 7.1 per cent) and 1.162 trillion riel in loans (up 50.7 per cent).