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Made-in-Vietnam Dating App Fika Secures $1.6m in Seed Funding

Created as a female-focused alternative to Tinder and Bumble, the dating app Fika recently got financial backing from international investors.

According to a press release, Fika recently secured US$1.6 million during a seed funding round led by Swedish investment firm VNV Global and including a number of angel investors and other tech entrepreneurs.

Fika is a Swedish word denoting a break for snacks like coffee and cakes and to socialize with others. The choice of name is inspired by the country of origin of the app’s creators, Denise Sandquist and Oscar Xing Luo, both Swedes of Asian descent. Sandquist, Fika’s CEO, was born in Vietnam but was adopted by a Swedish couple; she returned to Vietnam recently to look for her birth mother and has been living in the country since.

Fika was first developed by the duo in June 2020 as a platform that empowers users and emphasizes meaningful connections instead of casual relationships. Vietnam is the current focus of Fika, whose team consists mainly of local youths.

After more than a year on the market, Fika has gained over 600,000 downloads so far, according to the press release. About 40% of users are female.

According to Fika, the new funding will be used to “further expand the Fika team, further develop the app’s AI capabilities and increase the brand’s exposure in Vietnam.” An Asia expansion is also on the horizon before the app considers moving to the international arena.

The mobile application market in Vietnam has seen impressive growth in the past few years as internet penetration and smartphone ownership rates rise. A number of homegrown apps have also received funding support, such as the education app Elsa, blockchain game Axie Infinity, and recruitment app JobHopin.

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