Anfin, based in Vietnam, aims to turn more people into stock investors with features such as fractional trading and in-app communities. The Y Combinator alum announced today that it has raised a $4.8 million Series A led by angel investor Clement Benoit, founder of Stuart and Not So Dark, and Y Combinator. Also included in the round were Rebel VC, Kharis Capital, Newman Capital, First Check Ventures, Micro Ventures, Springcamp and AngelHub.
The funding will be used for Anfin’s product development, particularly its social investment features, including one that allows users to host and participate in live audio spaces. The app’s proprietary stock trading platform includes stock profiling and risk assessment. It also plans to offer more financial asset classes in addition to the current 300 stocks and nine ETFs.
Fractional trading features allow users to start investing with as little as 10,000 VND (or about 40 US cents), giving them access to stocks they might not otherwise be able to afford. Like other investment apps aimed at Generation Z and Millennials users (90% of Anfin’s users are 18 to 35 years old), Anfin has educational content on the fundamentals of the stock market.
Anfin was launched in October 2021 by Hiep Nguyen, Phuoc Tran, Chi Pham and Michael Do. Its founders say it has since been downloaded more than a million times, in part due to the increased interest in mobile banking and online investments during the COVID-19 pandemic. It now has 100,000 funded accounts and deposits have reached a total transaction value of $5 million and $10 million.
The startup is the latest investment app in Southeast Asia to get venture capital funding. Other examples include Pintu, Pluang, Bibit, Ajaib, and Syfe.
Do told TechCrunch that the founders of Anfin became interested in a stock trading app “by observing that there is no connection between the increasing demand for stocks as an asset class with the rising cost of investing in the stock market. Specifically, Vietnam changed the trading lot size from 10 shares to 100 shares, which meant that blue chip shares cost $400 to $600 for one full lot.
As a result, Anfin’s founders saw an opportunity to reduce investment costs by offering fractional shares and becoming a liquidity provider, or by charging a spread for immediate settlement. Do added that fractional trading is Anfin’s most popular features, with average trade values of $20.
One factor in Anfin’s favor is the Vietnamese government’s goal to increase the number of people investing in equities from 3% in 2021 to 5% in 2025 and 10% in 2030.
Anfin’s social investment product allows users to communicate with each other. It also includes a news feed ranking algorithm and uses a “bull and bear”-like system that identifies and characterizes top traders in the app, Do said.
“Building this feature directly into the app builds confidence as the investment profile includes metrics that highlight an investor’s track record and level of risk,” Do said. Eventually, the app will also include influencer-driven incentives (Do said the team prefers the term social investing over copy trading).
Anfin makes money through trading commissions. Do said the app doesn’t believe in payment for order flow (PFOF) or selling its user data. Instead, it integrates directly with brokerage partners and orders for its users through Vietnam’s regulated exchanges. It also has a subscription feature called Anfin VIP which gives the startup a source of recurring revenue.
In a prepared statement, Benoit said: “Democratizing access to social layer stock trading through a simple and friendly product is definitely the answer to a large untapped market in Asia. I have no doubts that this Series A financing Anfin will enable it to grow beyond Vietnam and become a benchmark in social trade.”