Funding Societies raises US$18mil debt from Japanese and Singaporean impact investors
By Digital News Asia October 7, 2021
- AI-driven credit model proved resilience during pandemic
- On track to raise US$120mil in institutional debt for funding SEA’s SMEs
Funding Societies, a Southeast Asia SME digital financing platform, today announced that it has raised US$18 million (RM75.2 million) in debt led by a trio syndicate of financial institutions including Helicap Investments, the newly launched Social Impact Debt Fund, and a Japanese financial services group.
Helicap Securities acted as sole mandated lead arranger on the secured credit facility. Together with funding received from European impact investors such as Triodos Investment Management for Indonesian business loans, Funding Societies is on track to raise US$120 million in institutional debt for funding the growth needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Southeast Asia (SEA). This funding round also expands the platform’s institutional lender base, which it secured after passing financial and risk due diligence conducted by the lenders. Funding Societies will place the funds for lending to MSMEs, propelling its mission of enabling financial inclusion in the region.
“The pandemic was an important test of resilience, and we are glad to have navigated it successfully, with a proven AI-led credit model. We are honored for the faith of Helicap, the Social Impact Debt Fund, and the Japanese financial services group, enabling us to further ride on the growth of SME digital financing. We believe this is a start of a long-term relationship and continuous evolution of Funding Societies,” said Kelvin Teo, co-founder and Group CEO, Funding Societies | Modalku.
Helicap is a Singapore-based alternative lending firm that provides private debt investments to a wide network of accredited investors, including family offices, high net worth individuals, impact funds, and institutional investors. In line with its support of sustainable lending, the fintech joined the round through its investments arm, Helicap Investments, after the deal was arranged by its securities arm, Helicap Securities.
“We are delighted to have assisted Funding Societies in its goal of providing access to capital for underserved MSMEs,” said David Z. Wang, cofounder and CEO of Helicap, the parent company of Helicap Investments and Helicap Securities. “Helicap was founded with the aim of breaking down traditional barriers for those who need capital and those who can provide it. This transaction demonstrates the ongoing institutional and individual appetite for private debt investment, and Helicap is well positioned to provide access to quality opportunities through our relationships with leading issuers such as Funding Societies.”
The Social Impact Debt Fund, an impact investment fund managed by Taurus Wealth Advisors and advised by GreenArc Capital, provided debt financing to Funding Societies seeing the impact the latter has affected on the region’s economic disparity. The Japanese financial services group that also participated in the fundraise round has renewed its commitment to impact focused fintech lenders in Southeast Asia and has a track record of driving adoption of financial services in emerging markets to facilitate long-term growth of its portfolio companies.
Funding Societies claims to be the largest SME digital financing platform in SEA. It is licensed in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and backed by Sequoia India and Softbank Ventures Asia Corp amongst many others. It provides business financing to SMEs, which is funded by individual and institutional investors. In 6 years, it has helped finance over 4.8 million business loans with over S$2 billion in funding.
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